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The Indiana Daily Student

city politics

Who are the Republicans running for County Commissioner District 3 seat?

2024elections-illo

Paul White Sr. and Joe VanDeventer are vying for the Republican nomination for the District 3 seat on the Monroe County Board of Commissioners. Democrats Penny Githens, Jody Madeira and Steve Volan are also running for the open seat.  

The Monroe County Board of Commissioners’ responsibilities include auditing and authorizing claims against the county, maintaining county properties, supervising the maintenance of county roads and bridges, and implementing solid waste management strategies. Commissioners can also appoint members to fill positions on various county boards, committees and commissions.  

The representative elected to the District 3 seat will represent Benton Township, Clear Creek Township, Salt Creek Township, Washington Township and parts of Perry and Polk townships.  

Joe VanDeventer 

When contacted for request for comment, Joe VanDeventer referred the Indiana Daily Student to his personal email. He did not respond to requests for comment to his personal email by time of publication.   

VanDeventer is the director of street operations for the city of Bloomington.  

For contact information, view his declaration of organization and designation of principal or exploratory committee filing. 

Paul White Sr.   

Paul White Sr., the second Republican in the race for his party’s nomination, is a bus driver for Area 10 Agency on Aging with experience serving on various county boards and commissions. White served on the Monroe County Human Rights Commission, Monroe County Traffic Commission and the Monroe County Waste Reduction District Board.  

“I’ve had fun, I’ve learned,” White said. “Hopefully I’ve been able to do some good while I’ve been sitting on those boards.”  

White was born in Bloomington in 1954 and lived in the area for most of his early life. He left Monroe County after graduating from Bloomington High School South in 1973 to attend college at Trinity Bible College in North Dakota, where he received his Bible Ministerial degree. Years later, he returned to the area to take care of his mother. White, who has served as an assistant pastor, said religion is a major part of his life.  

“I believe that we serve God, not just in church, but by serving our fellow man,” White said. “Helping people to do things that enrich their lives. To make them better people, if you will. Not just spiritually, but to do better at their employment, just everything.”  

His passion for helping others inspired him to become a coach for the Monroe County Special Olympics. White has also worked as an architectural designer and map maker for oil exploration companies and the United States Department Bureau of Land Management.  

“You want to see things to right in government and general life,” White said. “In a way it’s kind of like how I tell people ‘if you don’t vote, you don’t have a right to complain about what’s going on.’ Well, If I don’t get involved with what’s going on, do I still have a right to complain about it?”  

White said he believes in a “two party system of government,” but that conservative ideas are not being well represented in county government. He said commissioners should represent their constituents and listen to them, even if they don’t agree with their ideas.  

“Some people said that because I’m a Republican, I’m one of those ‘right wing nutcases,’” White said. “Which is just as ignorant as to say the Democrat people in office are ‘left wing nutcases.’” 

All three County Commissioners Lee Jones, Julie Thomas and Penny Githens are Democrats. White unsuccessfully ran for the board of commissioners in 2016, the county council in 2014 and county recorder in 2022.  

“You come together as a group and you work these things out and have a common right down the center way of doing things,” White said. “I want to see to it that we have that in government, which we don’t have when you have all of one side running it.”  

If elected, one of White’s top priorities would be limiting increases in property taxes and ensuring revenue from the Food and Beverage Tax is used for its intended purposes, such as supporting the Monroe County Convention Center expansion project. County officials planned to use the revenue from the tax, which was authorized in 2017, to fund this project. However, Monroe County used revenue from the Food and Beverage tax to provide loans and grants to businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic a move criticized by several state lawmakers. 

White also said he would want to find ways to support the Monroe County Sheriff’s office and first responders in the county.  

To learn more about White and his campaign, contact him at 317-506-2523 or visit his Facebook page 

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