LIMA — Former Allen County Sheriff Dan Beck, who won election after election for 16 years while running as an independent candidate in heavily Republican Allen County, is the newest addition to the race to replace retiring Allen County Commissioner Jay Begg.
True to form, Beck filed as an independent candidate with the Allen County Board of Elections on Thursday.
“I think it’s the fairest way I can serve the people of Allen County,” Beck said. “I come with no baggage. I serve all the people.”
Beck said his experience as sheriff, in which he worked closely with the commissioners for years to adopt what is one of the county’s largest departmental budgets, sets him apart from his opponents.
“I think I can be an asset and hit the ground running,” he said.
As an independent candidate, Beck’s name will not appear on the ballot until the November general election. Also on that ballot is Norman Capps, a longtime Perry Township trustee and the sole Democratic candidate vying for the seat. Five people — Judy Augsburger, Beth Seibert, Tim Sielschott, Greg Stolly and Alan Tyrell — are running as Republicans in the March 17 primary with the winner moving on to the general election.
Beck is satisfied with the current set of commissioners and even calls Begg a friend.
“It’s unfortunate that Jay Begg is not running this time,” he said. “I would not have run against Commissioner Begg because I really like Jay.”
Beck retired as sheriff in 2008, launching a campaign to unseat Mayor David Berger the following year. Beck later expressed an interest in taking his old job back before returning as a special deputy with the Allen County Sheriff’s Office in 2017.
Beck was known for his tough stance on illegal immigration as sheriff. He also has expressed support for the Second Amendment sanctuary movement on Thursday.
“It’s unenforceable, but when you file as a sanctuary city it at least makes a statement,” Beck said. “And that statement is heard by the governor of Ohio and the other elected officials. My opinion is that I’m pro-Second Amendment and will do anything that I deem necessary and have the ability to maintain our Second Amendment rights.”
Reach Mackenzi Klemann at 567-242-0456.