GOSHEN — Former Elkhart County Sheriff Brad Rogers is back on the campaign trail.
During a special gathering at the Elkhart County Courthouse late Saturday morning, Rogers formally announced his bid to seek the Republican nomination for Elkhart County Commissioner-District 2 in next year’s primary election.
Rogers, now a captain and commander of the county jail, officially exited his role as sheriff at the end of 2018 following the expiration of his second and final term. Under the county’s new sheriff, Jeff Siegel, Rogers serves as captain of the corrections division, returning to a position he previously held.
In seeking the Republican nomination for the District 2 seat in the May 2020 primary, Rogers will face off against longtime incumbent Mike Yoder, who is currently serving his fourth four-year term on the three-person board. Yoder was first elected commissioner in 2004.
The District 2 commissioner seat represents Benton, Clinton, Elkhart, Jackson, Jefferson, Middlebury and York townships.
“What a crowd today. Thank you for the great turnout. I’m humbled and honored that you would come out here to support my candidacy for county commissioner,” Rogers told the assembled crowd while standing in front of the courthouse steps late Saturday morning. “I really am honored to be here and announce my intention to be your candidate for Elkhart County Commissioner-District 2. I’m also humbled and honored to have such an incredible list of endorsements that we can make at this announcement. To think that nearly every Elkhart County legislator has endorsed me, many of whom are here today, it’s just amazing.”
A sampling of some of the endorsements announced by Rogers Saturday include: Sen. Blake Doriot, Sen. Linda Rogers, Rep. Doug Mille, Rep. Curt Nisly, Rep. Christy Stutzman, Rep. Timothy Wesco, former Rep. Wes Culver, former commissioners Phil Neff and Phil Stiver, Kosciusko County Sheriff Kyle Dukes, Nappanee Mayor Phil Jenkins and Goshen City Councilman Mike Orgill.
While serving as sheriff, Rogers made headlines locally and nationally for his support of Second Amendment gun ownership rights and for his opposition of apparent federal encroachment into state and local matters.
“During my time in county government, I have had the opportunity to work with all levels of government, from county, to city, to state, to federal — not always in a good way — but sometimes federal, providing me with the foundation necessary to serve as your next commissioner,” Rogers said of his candidacy. “My experience in working with all levels of government in supervisory and leadership positions have given me the background — and I believe the qualifications — necessary to be your next commissioner. It is with this determination and courage that I will fight for your rights as your next county commissioner.”
During Saturday’s gathering, Rogers announced his initial policy positions that will guide his time as commissioner should he be successful in securing the seat next year.
In outlining his various policy positions, Rogers indicated that he will:
• Take the Oath of Office seriously and ensure county government follows the state and federal constitutions;
• Encourage more freedom on land use policy and support development and housing through less government regulations;
• Support property and individual rights throughout the county;
• Work to make county government more accessible through technology and encourage more community input on controversial projects;
• Hold contractors and utilities responsible on projects when they cause the county delays and waste taxpayer dollars;
• Work to reform and supervise Elkhart County Community Corrections to ensure modernized, professional standards;
• Recognize the need for a unified County Courts building and the removal of the old jail/sheriff’s security complex in downtown Goshen.
“In 2010, I ran in a crowded field of candidates for sheriff, and was elected as your 44th Elkhart County sheriff with a strong showing, with my promise to be a guardian of the constitution — a refreshing view in today’s political climate. And my motto then, and still is now, is ‘Serving You,'” Rogers told the gathered crowd. “In 2014, as of course you know, I won again my second term as sheriff. As sheriff, I managed a $12 million budget, oversaw nearly 200 employees, negotiated gas contracts to save the county money and worked to reduce the officer turnover in the agency while improving the relationship with the county council and county commissioners.
“Government is ordained to protect your rights with the promise written in our constitutions to restrain government and remind government who we work for: you, the people,” Rogers added. “I will work to ensure that county government’s goal is to protect your rights and to serve you. It’s not about me. It’s about you.”
Rogers is a graduate of Goshen High School and earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Evansville.
He graduated first in his class from the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy. He also served for 10 years as the Scoutmaster for the New Paris Boy Scouts Troop 12 and is currently the chair of the troop committee.
Rogers also serves on the board of The Post Youth Center in Goshen and the Center for Community Justice in Elkhart. He is a member of Bible Baptist Church of Wakarusa.
He and his wife, Susie, have three adult children.
Additional information about Rogers’ campaign can be found by visiting his campaign website at BradleyDRogers.com.
John Kline can be reached at email@example.com or 574-533-2151, ext. 315. Follow John on Twitter @jkline_TGN