The Journal Gazette
Sunday, October 18, 2020 1:00 am

City officer kicks off '22 race for Allen sheriff

NIKI KELLY and BRIAN FRANCISCO | The Journal Gazette

There are 16 days until election day. After that, Hoosiers won't vote in another election until 2022.

One candidate has a head start and he'll likely have competition.

Fort Wayne police Capt. Mitch McKinney announced Thursday he'll run for Allen County sheriff as a Republican – in 2022. There are no scheduled elections in Indiana next year.

Incumbent Sheriff David Gladieux's term ends at the end of 2022, and term limits prohibit him from seeking a third consecutive term. That means the office will be open.

As it does in many counties, the sheriff's election can draw many candidates.

County Councilman Ken Fries, a former sheriff, said Friday he's concentrating on his re-election campaign. Three Republicans, including Fries, and three Democrats are competing for three at-large council seats. But Fries also said he's seriously considering running for sheriff again in 2022.

In a Facebook page post last week, McKinney said he was excited to officially launch his campaign for sheriff.

“In the coming months and throughout my campaign,” he said, “I will be talking to voters about transparency/efficiency, wellness resources, and community engagement that I will bring to the Allen County Sheriff Department.”

Surveying Whitley

Whitley County has a new surveyor – for now.

Charles Zumbrun of Churubusco was appointed to the position during an Oct. 11 caucus of the Whitley County Democratic Party.

Zumbrun replaces former Surveyor Mark Mynhier, who resigned in September, citing personal reasons.

Zumbrun graduated from Churubusco High School and has a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering technology and a master's degree in computer science from Purdue University.

He owns and operates a family farm in Smith Township and performs software engineering work for various firms. He also is the chief technology officer at Complete Wellness Solutions in Fort Wayne.

Zumbrun won't be county surveyor for long. Republican Dane Drew is unopposed for the position in the November election. The new surveyor will take office in January.

Freedom Indiana

Indiana has the 15th fewest coronavirus restrictions, according to a national analysis.

While all states have at least partly reopened businesses that were closed for months due to the pandemic, the U.S. is still far from a full reopening. Some states have paused moving forward – or even have reversed as the virus surges.

WalletHub, a personal finance website, compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 17 key metrics to determine the states with the fewest restrictions. The metrics included whether the state has a mask requirement, if restaurants are open, travel restrictions, gathering limitations and more.

The five “most free” states are South Dakota, Idaho, Utah, Oklahoma and Iowa. The five states with the most restrictions are Hawaii, California, Massachusetts, Maine and New Jersey.

When comparing restrictions with death rates, Indiana ranks in the high “red” category.

Virtual attendance

Fort Wayne Community Schools board member Maria Norman could be heard but not seen during Monday's meeting, but board President Julie Hollingsworth seemed ready to fix that.

“Maria, we're going to work on getting you a cardboard cutout like they have at the NFL games,” Hollingsworth said after Norman, the vice president, participated in the roll call by phone.

The socially distanced audience chuckled, and Norman played along, saying she was up for it as long as she got to pick the photo.

“Send us one,” Hollingsworth said.

Banks honored

Members of the Indiana Builders Association and the Home Builders Association of Fort Wayne recently presented U.S. Rep. Jim Banks, R-3rd, with the National Association of Home Builders Defender of Housing Award in Fort Wayne.

The award recognizes federal legislators who have demonstrated strong support for housing and key issues facing the industry. The award itself, fashioned in the likeness of a traditional house key, is awarded biannually.

“There are issues that are important to this region, and local leaders talk to us about needs and housing growth,” Banks said. “We see potential in the capacity for Northeast Indiana to grow, and we recognize area builders as leaders.”

Dave Gong, Ashley Sloboda and Jim Chapman of The Journal Gazette contributed to this column.

To reach Political Notebook by email, contact Brian Francisco at or Niki Kelly at An expanded Political Notebook can be found as a daily blog at

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