Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Reporting on the Sheriff's Race

Tracy Warner has been blogging up a storm lately on the 2006 Allen County Sheriff's race, mostly to talk about how Capt. Brad Kohrman is going to run and has the support of outgoing sheriff Jim Herman even though Kohrman has yet to declare his candidacy.

When news of an early retirement plan for Allen County sheriff's deputies was announced last week, it was no coincidence that Capt. Brad Kohrman was the point man from the department discussing the plan. Yes, Kohrman helped developed it, but more significantly, political insiders expect him to seek the GOP nomination for sheriff in the 2006 election. Kohrman reportedly has the support of incumbent Sheriff James Herman.

This is shaping up to be the first election in at least a quarter-century in which neither the sheriff nor his chief deputy is seeking the GOP nomination for the office. Bill Smallwood, Herman's chief deputy, is nearing retirement and has repeatedly said he is not interested in the office. Don't be surprised to see Herman work to help raise Kohrman's profile in the months before next May's primary.

In a separate post the same day, Warner said this:
But I bet Sheriff Jim Herman will name Brad Kohrman, the sheriff's employee Herman is reportedly backing to replace [Victor Hopkins, the public information officer for the Allen County Sheriff's Dept.] in next year's election. That will give Kohrman a higher profile leading up to the May 2006 primary.
Here's the problem: Kohrman isn't going to run.

The story hasn't yet been reported in the local media (though there are rumors that the JG was planning to do so in this past Sunday's paper but didn't for some unknown reason), but even Matt Kelty (yes, the same Matt Kelty we were talking about last week), who was the chairman of Kohrman's exploratory committee, has been putting out the word that Kohrman won't be getting in the race.

That's not to say that Kohrman wasn't Herman's hand-picked successor, but it seems that his heart wasn't in politics. He was seen at several local political functions this year failing to work the crowd, unlike Ken Fries, who is already leading the fundraising race but wasn't considered as a successor by Herman in part because in 1998 Fries backed Herman's opponent in the GOP primary, Marty Bender of the Fort Wayne Police.

Let's see how soon the local media report this, and if they give credit to the blogger(!) who broke the story.

RELATED: Tracy Warner's postings on the sheriff's race
Sheriff's race shuffle
Sheriff's race, Part II

ALSO: There's been whispers that Kohrman is going to call a press conference to announce to the media that he's not running, something quite unusual, especially in local politics.

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