State Rep. Bill Friend

William C. Friend, State Representative District #23, announces he will not run for re-election in 2018.

Friend was first elected in 1992, making his legislative service 26 years in the House of Representatives at the end of this term. His district has always included most of Miami County but over the years he has also represented portions of Cass, Elkhart, Fulton, Howard, Kosciusko, Marshall, Tipton & Wabash counties. The current district encompasses parts of Miami, Cass and Fulton counties.

Friend began public service as Allen Township Trustee in 1978, serving nearly 6 years in that position. He then was caucused onto the Miami County Council in 1983 following the death of Commissioner Ralph Fites who was replaced by Councilman Winston Coffing. In 1988, Friend was elected Miami County Auditor, serving 4 years in that position. In 1992, he ran successfully for his first term in the House, following Raymond Musselman, who served for 12 years.

A bit of trivia is that Friend first ran for Allen Township Advisory Board in 1974. He was elected to that position but never sworn in since he met his wife, the former Ann Rusie Herrell, during that campaign and they planned to be married and move out of the township. They met at a Young Republicans organizational meeting where Friend and his future wife were elected chair and vice-chair of the group.

In February, Bill and Ann will celebrate their 43rd wedding anniversary. Their children are son, Chris Herrell and wife, Lori, and grandson, William, at Macy; daughter, Mandy Galyean and husband Brian, in North Richland Hills, TX; son, Daniel Friend and wife, Debora, in Itajuba, Brazil. The Friends have a granddaughter, Sara Ann Herrell and a daughter, Leanna Marie Friend, who are deceased.

His local government experience prepared him well to serve on Ways & Means Committee for 8 years.

In 2002, Friend was elected to leadership in the House which precluded him from serving on W&M and from chairing any committees. His leadership positions over the years were Minority Floor Leader, Majority Floor Leader and Speaker ProTempore, a position which he holds currently.

A tireless advocate for agriculture and rural Indiana, Friend served on the House Ag Committee for his entire tenure. Bill is currently a pork producer at Macy with son, Chris Herrell. Friend’s support of agriculture is evidenced by participation in Indiana Pork Producers, Indiana Farm Bureau and support of FFA and 4-H. He served as Chairman of Ag Committee for National Council of State Legislators (NCSL) and was a frequent participant in Council of State Governments (CSG) events.

Friend’s work during his tenure in the House contributed to Clean Water Indiana; completion of Hoosier Heartland Corridor; location of Miami Correctional Facility at Grissom Air Reserve; IVY Tech at Logansport, Peru and Rochester; improvements to US 31, including deceleration lanes at 200 N and 400 N in Miami County along with addressing the public’s resistance to J-turns; allowance for use of CBD oil to treat medical conditions. Friend cites his constituent work as the most rewarding aspect of his public service.

SOURCE: News release from Representative Bill Friend