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McBarnes will finish second term

BY SHARON BARDONNER - sbardonner@ftimes.com

Frankfort Mayor Chris McBarnes will fulfill his second term and forgo the opportunity to seek the District 7 Indiana State Senate seat vacated by Brandt Hershman Jan. 3 after deciding to take a position with the Washington, D.C. law office of Barnes and Thornburg.

McBarnes said he and his wife Samantha were in his office in Old Stoney at about 6 p.m. Monday evening before the City Council meeting, with the topic being top of mind.

"We sat together, we prayed together, we cried, we laughed and then we made our decision," said McBarnes Tuesday morning. "It's flattering to be considered, but I will be contacting them to say I'm staying here. I am not abandoning my post."

McBarnes also pledged to fight the negative forces in the city while he honors the commitment he made to the taxpayers to complete his second term. He also wants to complete quality of place projects he has planned for the city - Project Home Run and Prairie Creek Park.

McBarnes' names was mentioned in a story published by the Journal and Courier weighing who might be want to be considered by the caucus meeting Jan. 26 in Monticello to decide Hershman's replacement.

He faulted politicians who jump ship at their first opportunity to seek a higher office so they don't finish their terms. "They give my profession a bad rep," he said. "But I will fight to the very end with all that's in me to accomplish what I've started."

McBarnes acknowledged that he would be starting at the Statehouse much as he began as mayor - "as David versus Goliath."

"Most people laughed at us, but we worked as a team, fighting an uphill battle all the way," he said about his first campaign, adding that in Indianapolis, he would be only one out of 50 senators. 

"I'd be the new kid again, but I'd go into it with the same fight, the same passion as I did as mayor," he said.

He feels, however, that he is at a critical moment with the plans he has for the city. "I will do whatever it takes. I'm not going to give us because this will elevate (Frankfort) to another level."

Now that McBarnes has removed his name from consideration, there are two candidates remaining who confirmed to the Journal and Courier that they plan to run - Arvid Olson, director of development with Faith Ministries; and Stuart Gutwein, a Lafayette attorney.