Longtime Indiana Senate member won’t seek 2022 reelection

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A Republican who’s been one of the Indiana Legislature’s most conservative members announced Friday he won’t seek re-election next year, ending more than three decades as a lawmaker.

State Sen. Dennis Kruse of Auburn said his years of service have been the “opportunity of a lifetime” and that he was retiring to spend more time with his wife and family.

Kruse has represented a Fort Wayne-area district in the Indiana Senate since 2004 after previously being an Indiana House member starting in 1989.

Kruse was a leading sponsor of the state’s contentious religious objections law in 2015 that sparked a national uproar over whether it could be used to discriminate against gays and lesbians. He previously led unsuccessful attempts to write a gay marriage ban into the state constitution and allow public schools to teach creationism in science classes.

Kruse spent several years as chairman of the Senate’s education committee, during which time the Republican-dominated Legislature established and expanded the state’s private school voucher program and required the use of standardized student test scores to rate schools and teachers.

Kruse said he would remain in the state Senate for its 2022 session.

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