By CHRIS MORRIS
FLOYD COUNTY —
Steve Bush announced last week he is running for Floyd County sheriff in 2014. Frank Loop says he has been running for the post for the past six years.
The two Republicans have 17 months to get their message across to voters before the May 2014 primary.
Both candidates are law enforcement veterans. Bush, 45, is a 21-year veteran of the New Albany Police Department while Loop, 53, has been with the Floyd County Sheriff’s Department for 31 years. Both also believe they are the right man for the job. Bush was elected in November to a third term as Floyd County Commissioner.
“I try to plan and evaluate where I have been, and where I am going. I’ve thought about it, talked to my family, and decided this was the right thing to do,” said Bush, who has a degree in criminology from Indiana State. “Law enforcement is my profession, my field of choice. I think I have done a good job as commissioner and have been a city police officer for 21 years.
“It just makes sense when you put everything together. I will be able to put all of my experiences together — from law enforcement to working with budgets as a commissioner. As a commissioner, I have a better understanding of what is going on. I think all of those things makes me a viable candidate.”
Loop holds a criminal justice degree and teaches it at Ivy Tech. He is also a graduate of the FBI Academy. He lost his bid for sheriff in 2006 to Darrell Mills. He is currently the Greenville Township Trustee.
“I have always been running. When I lost to Sheriff Mills in 2006 my intention was to run again,” Loop said. “I might as well follow my dream.
“I have been on the county police department for 31 years and have the education and experience working with the public. I am out there every day with them.”
Mills, a Democrat, is in his second term and is not permitted to run again because of term limits.
Bush said he expects a tough election which is why he wanted to announce early.
“You have to get a plan together, begin fundraising and campaigning,” he said. “It’s early, but you want to get your organization together.
“It will be an open field and a tough election. I have never had a primary opponent so that will be different. But I think I am up to the task. You have to expect everything. I will just campaign on what I can offer and my experience.”
Loop also expects a tough campaign. However, he said being chief of the sheriff’s department on two separate occasions, and from holding every job except for sheriff, gives him a solid chance. He is currently a lieutenant on the department.
“I think the public recognizes I know what I am doing,” he said. “I think anyone that runs for office believes they have a shot. I think people recognize I have the experience and education to run for sheriff.”
Bush said he felt “humbled” by his victory in November where he received more votes — 18,009 — than in his previous two election victories. He also said he will probably face some naysayers since he was just elected to a third term as commissioner.
“I will probably we criticized, but what is wrong with planning for the future? I will be halfway through my term at the time of the election,” he said. “I will continue to represent Floyd County as a commissioner, and do what I said I would do when I ran last year.”