By Brenda L. Holmes
DANVILLE — There are already four people who have thrown their hats into the ring to run for Hendricks County sheriff in 2014. Brett Clark and Ty VanWagner have each created a candidate’s principal committee and Steven Wagner and John Hancock have each set up exploratory committees to run for the office.
These candidates will be running for the Republican spot in the May 6, 2014, Primary Election.
“If you win as a Republican in Hendricks County, you have a pretty good chance in the General Election,” Clark said.
He said he’s been preparing to run for sheriff for 24 years.
“We started thinking about this when I joined the sheriff’s department 24 years ago,” Clark said. “I started in the jail division in 1989.”
He said he’s been meeting with advisors and talking with friends and family.
“We want to do good things in the community,” Clark said.
He and his wife, Karie, have an Avon address and their children attend Danville schools.
“I was a Tri-West Bruin myself, as a kid growing up in North Salem,” he said. “I’ve already gotten some positive feedback about running. We’re going to be very positive and just hope for the best.”
Wagner is currently the chief deputy for the department under the leadership of Sheriff David Galloway. He has also been with the department for 24 years. Prior to his career with the sheriff’s department he served as a reserve officer with the Brownsburg Police Department.
“I’ve wanted to be a police officer since I was 6 years old and have never deviated,” Wagner said. “I want to lead a highly trained professional department dedicated to the safety of the community.”
He said he would like to continue the work of the current administration and make sure Hendricks County is as inhospitable to the criminal element as possible.
“I want to make a great department even better,” Wagner said. “I’ve got a tremendous amount of support from my friends and family.”
He’s set up a campaign website at wagnerforsheriff.com and a Facebook page.
Wagner and his wife, Dawn, reside in Danville and have two adult daughters.
VanWagner said he was asked to run for sheriff during the past two elections but didn’t feel he was ready for the office.
“This was the third time some guys came to me and asked me to run,” he said. “They wanted to bolster their training and think I would be a good component to do that.”
VanWagner has been working in law enforcement for 20 years. He’s currently working as an instructor with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department’s training academy.
He said he also needed permission from his wife, Lori, who is just finishing up with treatment for breast cancer.
“We discussed it because, for me, family comes first,” VanWagner said. “She said, ‘You can do this!’”
The couple has four children.
After discussing it with more officers in the area, VanWagner said he decided it was time for him to run for the office.
“I really like to support things like Susie’s Place and Sheltering Wings,” he said. “Those things are important to me. That’s another reason I’m running for sheriff.”
VanWagner has a Facebook page set up for his campaign.
Attempts to reach Hancock prior to the publication of this article were unsuccessful.