The 2019 Bloomington primary elections took place Tuesday as less than 10% of the city’s registered voters chose between candidates for municipal offices such as mayor and city council seats.
While the election is technically still a primary before November’s general municipal vote, a lack of Republican candidates in Bloomington means most of Tuesday’s winners are expected to secure their offices in the fall.
John Hamilton wins mayoral primary
Incumbent mayor John Hamilton won the Democratic primary election for mayor against challenger and former county commissioner Amanda Barge.
Hamilton’s win comes a little more than a month after Barge suspended her campaign after the Indiana Daily Student published an article outlining sexual harassment allegations against her. Barge allegedly harassed former county contractor Brandon Drake, who worked for the county while Barge was commissioner.
Hamilton accepted the Democratic party mayoral nomination and will serve his second term as mayor if elected. He will run against independent candidate Nile Arena in November, provided Arena secures the required 522 signatures in a petitionto appear on November's ballot by July 1.
Incumbent City Clerk Nicole Bolden ran unopposed in Democratic primary
Incumbent Nicole Bolden won the Democratic nomination ran unopposed in the Democratic primary for reelection in her position of city clerk. Bolden was first elected to the office in 2015 after six years as a hearing officerand later a deputy clerk.
Kate Rosenbarger wins nomination for city council District 1 seat
Kate Rosenbarger won the Democratic primary nomination for a city council seat in District 1.
She currently serves as executive director of TEDxBloomington, and her most recent political experience was as deputy campaign manager and field director for the Liz Watson congressional campaign.
Sgambelluri and Guenther secure nominations for city council District 2 seat
Professional IU fundraiser Sue Sgambelluri and recent IU graduate Andrew Guenther won the Democratic and Republican party nominations for the District 2 city council seat, respectively. Sgambelluri and Guenther will run against each other in the general election this November.
The District 2 race is the only city council race with a Republican candidate.
Ron Smith nominated for city council District 3 seat
Ron Smith won the Democratic primary nomination for the District 3 city council seat. Smith has a history of working in various governmental roles advocating for children, the disabled and the elderly.
Smith ran against Jim Blickensdorf, who suspended his campaign after the Herald-Times published a story detailing his purchase of a Bedford strip club. According to court documents, Blickensdorf bought the Hideaway Lounge in 1998 and failed to make payments on the business and also hired underage dancers.
Dave Rollo nominated for city council District 4 seat
Rollo is a retired IU biology professor who has continually fought for sustainability when issues are presented to the community. He most recently voted on the Fourth Street parking garage rebuild and has been an avid supporter of affordable housing.
Piedmont-Smith reclaims city council District 5 nomination
Piedmont-Smith has centered much of her previous voting and campaign on combating climate change, securing affordable housing and assisting residents suffering from addiction.
Steve Volan secures nomination for fifth city council term
Incumbent city councilmember Steve Volan secured the nomination for his fifth city council term after running unopposed in the Democratic primary.
Volan centered much of his campaign on stricter attention toward parking and housing projects in his district, which includes parts of IU’s campus.
Three candidates nominated for at-large city council seats
Sandberg and Sims both currently serve as at-large members of the city council. Matt Flaherty, a 33 year old graduate student at IU’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs, defeated three other candidates, including incumbent councilmember Andy Ruff.