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For Immediate Release: August 22, 2012

Media Contact Christina Schneider 502-386-2804

Local Candidates Weigh-in on Recent Controversial Bills at Police Forum

FORT WAYNE On Tuesday, local political candidates solicited endorsements from the Fraternal Order of Police at Fort Waynes Lodge 14. Both incumbent and challenging candidates attended the meeting, along with local officers and state representatives of the FOP. Candidates were given three minutes to advocate for an endorsement.

Senate Bill 001, a controversial law from 2011, was mentioned by many candidates. The bill allows homeowners to use deadly force to protect themselves against illegal entry. Police officers across Indiana opposed the bill, citing concerns that citizens may justify shooting of police officers under the new law.

Incumbent Phil GiaQuinta explained that he had voted against Senate Bill 001 because Representative Linda Lawson, a former police officer, had opposed it. Rep. Tim Neese told the group that he had not opposed the bill because he did not think it put officers in harms way. State Senate Candidate Tom Keen said that if he had been in office, he would have opposed the bill, as well as the recent Right-to-Work bill that further weakened unions. Keens opponent, Senator David Long, was not at the event.

Candidates in attendance were Jim Ball, John Bonitati, Martin Carbaugh, Rep. Phil GiaQuinta, Lee Jordan, Tom Keen, Rep. Dan Leonard, Rep. Tim Neese, Mike Snyder, and Dr. Dennis Zent.

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Tom Keen is a resident of Fort Wayne and is running against longtime incumbent David Long in Senate District 16. Tom and his wife Laura have been married for 22 years and have two college aged children. Tom is active in several veteran service organizations; he is a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and Disabled American Veterans (DAV). He is also a member of the Military Officers Association of America, United States Naval Institute, and the Fort Wayne Base Community Council. Tom currently serves on the Board of Directors of Fort Waynes Science Central.