Dennis Kruse

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Dennis Kruse
Member of the Indiana Senate
from the 14th district
Assumed office
April 14, 2004[1]
Preceded byCharles "Bud" Meek
Member of the Indiana House of Representatives
from the 51st district
In office
November 4, 1992 – April 14, 2004[2]
Preceded byVanessa Summers
Succeeded byDick Dodge
Member of the Indiana House of Representatives
from the 1st district
In office
August 19, 1989[3] – November 4, 1992
Preceded byOrville H. Moody
Succeeded byRon Tabaczynski
Personal details
Born (1946-10-07) October 7, 1946 (age 75)
Auburn, Indiana
Political partyRepublican
Residence(s)Auburn, Indiana
Alma materIndiana University
ProfessionAuctioneer, politician

Dennis K. Kruse (born October 7, 1946) is an American businessman and politician. Kruse was a founder of the auction business Kruse International before entered politics as a Republican. He was a member of the Indiana House of Representatives from 1989 to 2004 and has been a member of the Indiana Senate since 2004.

Early life, education, and business career[edit]

Kruse started working in the local auction business with his father, Russell W. Kruse, and his older brother Dean Kruse. They were later joined by his younger brother, Daniel J. Kruse, and started what became Kruse International Collector Car Auctions in 1971.[4]

In 1979, Kruse left the collector car business to focus on local auctions and real estate. A 1964 graduate of the Reppert School of Auctioneering in Decatur, Indiana, Kruse served as president of the auction school, from his purchase of the school in 1996, until its sale to the Christy family in Indianapolis in 2011. Kruse graduated from the School of Education at Indiana University in 1970, and was a licensed teacher in Indiana from 1970 to 1975. He currently serves on the board of trustees at Trine University in Angola, Indiana.[5]

He is a past president of the Indiana Auctioneer's Association, and a member of their hall of fame.[6] Kruse was president of the National Auctioneers Association from 2005 to 2006, and was instrumental in advocating for industry research for the auction profession.[7] In 2013, Kruse was inducted into the National Auctioneers Association Hall of Fame.[8]

Political career[edit]

Kruse was an Indiana State Representative from 1989 to 2004. Originally, he was appointed to the 1st district after the death of incumbent State Representative Orville H. Moody.[9] In 1992, after redistricting, Kruse was reelected into the 51st district. He was succeeded by Ron Tabaczynski in the 1st district in 1992.[10] Kruse succeeded Vanessa Summers in the 51st district.[2] He was succeeded by Richard Dodge in the State House. Since 2004, Kruse has been a member of the Indiana Senate for the 14th District. He was appointed to the seat after the death of Charles "Bud" Meeks.[11]

Kruse is a creationist and in 2012 proposed legislation to allow the teaching of "creation science" to be taught in Indiana schools,[12][13] The National Center for Science Education strongly opposed the bill, noting that it would violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment and the Supreme Court's ruling in Edwards v. Aguillard.[12] Kruse said: "I believe in creationism, and it's worthy of being taught equally with evolution theory. . . . Just because there are constitutional concerns doesn't mean you don't try to get something done you believe in."[13] Kruse also introduced a bill during the 2013 session to allow school districts to mandate the recitation of the Lord's Prayer at the beginning of the day in Indiana public schools.[14] Legal experts and the state Senate's legal committee stated that the proposal was unconstitutional.[14][15]

In 2018, Kruse introduced legislation that would prohibit public schools from providing sex education to students without a parent's prior written permission ("opt-in"). The legislation would have changed the existing practice in may public schools, in which parents can exclude their children from sex education classes through an "opt-out" note. The legislation was backed by social conservatives and passed the state Senate,[16] but Kruse's controversial proposal was removed in the state House version of the legislation.[17]

Kruse served three years as chairman of the Senate Pensions and Labor Committee, then became chairman of the influential Senate Committee on Education and Career Development from 2009-2018, resigning that position at the onset of his wife’s health issues. He was known as a champion of community college and received an honorary degree from Ivy Tech Community College in 2016, at the time, the nation's largest, singly-accredited community college. [18] [19]

Kruse announced he would not seek re-election in 2022 and would instead retire.[20] Two Republican candidates have announced they will run for his former seat in the assembly; Ron Turpin, a member of the East Allen County school board,[21] and Dr. Tyler Johnson, a physician at Parkview DeKalb Hospital in Auburn.[22]


  1. ^ "List of All Offices and Office Holders". 5 March 2015.
  2. ^ a b "List of All Offices and Office Holders". 5 March 2015.
  3. ^ "List of All Offices and Office Holders". 5 March 2015.
  4. ^ Kurtz, Dave (May 6, 2007)."Kruse raised family that made its mark". FW Daily News, .[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ "Trine Names New Trustees - Newsroom - Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick". Archived from the original on 2012-02-29. Retrieved 2010-08-27. "Trine Names New Trustees"
  6. ^ Indiana Auctioneers Association Archived 2010-01-19 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ bNet: Auction Industry Update
  8. ^ "National Auctioneers Association". Archived from the original on 2013-05-31. Retrieved 2013-07-25.
  9. ^ Dennis Kruse Joins Indiana House, The Indianapolis Star (November 22, 1989).
  10. ^ Indianapolis Star (November 5, 1992).
  11. ^ "Our Campaigns - IN State Senate 14 - Appointment Race - May 05, 2004".
  12. ^ a b Mounting opposition to Indiana's creationist bill, National Center for Science Education (January 23, 2012).
  13. ^ a b Chris Sikich, Indiana lawmakers consider some laws that are just plain puzzling, Indianapolis Star (January 22, 2012).
  14. ^ a b State Sen. Dennis Kruse Pushes For Mandatory Recitation Of Lord’s Prayer In Indiana Public Schools, Huff Post (January 4, 2013).
  15. ^ Mary Beth Schneider, Ind. senator's bill seeks Lord's Prayer in schools, The Indianapolis Star(January 4, 2013).
  16. ^ Aileen Chuang, Indiana lawmakers weigh 'opt-in' requirement for sex ed, Associated Press (February 15, 2018).
  17. ^ Jeanie Lindsay, Lawmakers Compromise On Sex Ed Bill, Opt-In Requirement, WFYI (March 13, 2018).
  18. ^ "Ivy Tech gives diploma to over a thousand students". 7 May 2016.
  19. ^ "Aug. 27 - Dennis Kruse will retire from Indiana Senate; replacement to announce Aug. 30".
  20. ^ Kurtz, Dave (Aug 27, 2021). "Aug. 27 - Dennis Kruse will retire from Indiana Senate; replacement to announce Aug. 30". Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly. Retrieved Jan 21, 2022.
  21. ^ Moore, Corinne (Aug 30, 2021). "Ron Turpin announces bid for State Senate District 14". WANE 15. Retrieved Jan 21, 2022.
  22. ^ "Parkview Emergency Physician announces bid for State Senate District 14". WANE 15. Sep 22, 2021. Retrieved Jan 21, 2022.

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