The Journal Gazette
Tuesday, August 31, 2021 1:00 am

Businessman to seek Kruse's seat in Senate


Businessman and attorney Ron Turpin announced Monday he is a Republican candidate for state Senate in Indiana's District 14.

Turpin's announcement came three days after longtime Republican state Sen. Dennis Kruse of Auburn said he is retiring.

Monday's announcement was made at Leo-Cedarville Town Park. Turpin was introduced by DeKalb County businessman John Kruse, son of the retiring state senator.

District 14 covers eastern Allen County and southeastern DeKalb County.

Turpin is chief financial officer and head of civic engagement for Ambassador Enterprises, a Fort Wayne privately held investment management company founded by Daryle Doden.

Turpin is a certified public accountant and graduate of the Indiana University School of Law. He has served on the boards of about two dozen local, regional and statewide philanthropic organizations, according to a biography released with his candidacy announcement. 

Doden's son Eric Doden, a former Greater Fort Wayne Inc. CEO, announced this year he is running for governor as a Republican.

Turpin, 50, from Fort Wayne, told supporters he plans to support conservative values.

“I will fight for fiscal responsibility, preservation of local decision making vs. state control, reform of out-of-control state agencies, and strengthen our local infrastructure, including revitalization of our rural communities,” he said in a statement.

He described himself as “first and foremost ... a Christ follower.”

Turpin has been on the East Allen County Schools board since November and recently supported mask-optional and vaccination-optional policies.

He also is a previous head of Fort Wayne's Legacy Joint Funding Committee, which evaluates requests and distributes funds from Fort Wayne's multimillion-dollar sale of its electrical utility to Indiana Michigan Power.

Turpin was removed from that post by Mayor Tom Henry in May 2018 but rejoined the committee after a Fort Wayne City Council appointment that year. The removal and reappointment came during uncertainties about the future funding of the Electric Works project and a suggestion by Ambassador Enterprises that it could assist in redeveloping the former General Electric campus.

Turpin has served on the Community Advisory Board of the former IPFW, the University of Saint Francis board of trustees and the board of Nazarene Theological Seminary. 

For the state Senate race, Turpin's honorary campaign co-chairs are John Kruse; state Rep. Dave Heine, R-Fort Wayne; and Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita. 

Supporting Turpin at Monday's announcement were New Haven Mayor Steve McMichael and Allen County Commissioner Therese Brown, both Republicans, and former state Sen. David Long, a Republican from Fort Wayne.

Republicans Kyle Curley, an Allen County Council member, and Fort Wayne City Clerk Lana Keesling also attended.

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