TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) — Incumbent Tippecanoe County Sheriff Barry Richard says he isn't spending a dime on his campaign for re-election.
However, his oppenents are doing everything they can to get their name out before the Primary Election on May 8.
"I don't consider myself a politician," said Tippecanoe County Sheriff Candidate John "Woody" Ricks.
"I'm not a politician," said Tippecanoe County Sheriff Candidate Jason Dombkowski.
But let's face it, Tippecanoe County Sheriff is a political position. A position Incumbent Sheriff Barry Richard spent upwards of $20,000 to get in 2014.
"At the time, I had to prove myself," responded Incumbent Sheriff Richard.
But now, Richard feels he has done that. That's why he says he isn't spending any money on this campaign.
"I believe after three plus years on the job and what we've been able to accomplish here in the sheriff's department in Tippecanoe County speaks for itself, loudly," said Richard.
Public campaign records prove he's serious. Richard has a little more than 500 in his account, but hasn't spent it.
"What's going to happen to that money?" asked News 18's Kayla Sullivan.
"You know? I haven't thought of that," said Richard.
But Richard said it's certainly not going to be used for campaigning purposes.
"If there were 50,000 dollars in there, that would not change my mindset on what I need to do," said Richard. "And what I need to express to the people in our community."
So, how are his opponents feeling about this decision?
"I don't know what to think about that actually," responded Ricks. "When he told me about it I told him that if he wasn't going to spend any money on himself, if he wanted to throw some money my way I'd be happy to take it."
Richard thought that was funny.
"It was a fun time between the two of us," said Ricks.
Jason Dombkowski is definitely spending money on his campaign. He's the only one planning to buy an ad on TV.
"I have a plan to get us back to where we need to be in the area of the Sheriff's Office and that campaign does take support and money," said Dombkowski.
Dombkowski has seen a lot of monetary support so far. By January, he had raised nearly $50,000. John Woody Ricks raised a little more than $15,000 and and the sheriff sat at around $500.
"People have tried to donate and I have politely declined," said Richard.
He said he will continue doing that and if it results in a loss, he won't regret it.
"Not at all," said Richard.
All three candidates are fans of free campaigning.
We will be giving them an opportunity to do that by hosting a debate on Tuesday, April 10th. That debate will be broadcasted on WLFI live at 7PM. The first half hour will be between the three sheriff's candidates and the next 30 minutes will be between the two running for Tippecanoe County Prosecutor. The event is open to the public. It's at Faith West Community Center in the Community Room. Doors open at 6:30 PM.
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