2019 Bloomington Primary|Mayoral Candidate: John Hamilton

Outcome: John Hamilton won the Democratic Party primary for mayor with 4,065 votes (84.14 percent), compared to 766 votes (15.86 percent) for Amanda Barge. [Full results here

John Hamilton is running for his second four-year term as mayor of the City of Bloomington. He initially faced Amanda Barge in the May 7, 2019 Democratic Party primary.

john hamilton headshot
John Hamilton

However, on March 26 Barge announced she was suspending her campaign, after the Indiana Daily Student published allegations of sexual harassment, which she denies. On April 9, she declared that even if she receives more votes than Hamilton, she will not accept the party’s nomination.

Barge’s name will still appear on the ballot, because the deadline for removing it was Feb. 11.

On his campaign website, Hamilton describes a platform that focuses on affordable housing, job creation and economic development, quality of life, democratic engagement and government transparency. His accomplishments mentioned on the site include development of the downtown Trades District, the 2019 National Award for Local Arts Leadership, solar energy initiatives, and “Mayor at the Market” program.

Hamilton’s tenure has also generated some controversy. He has been criticized for how he handled efforts to annex parts of Monroe County, the BearCat armored vehicle purchase, and the publishing of private addresses of drug overdose victims.

Hamilton first ran for mayor in 2011 but lost in the Democratic Party primary to incumbent Mark Kruzan. In 2015, Kruzan did not seek re-election and endorsed council president Darryl Neher in the Democratic primary. Hamilton prevailed with 58% of votes cast. He defeated Republican John Turnbull in the November general election.

A Bloomington native, Hamilton’s first experience as an elected official was on the Monroe County Community School Corp. board. He served one term from 2008 to 2012, representing District 6. His other community work includes chairing Bloomington’s Commission on Sustainability from 2005 to 2009, and serving as president of the Shalom Community Center board from 2013 to 2015.

From 2001 to 2003 he was secretary of the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, appointed by Gov. Frank O’Bannon. Previously he had been appointed by O’Bannon as commissioner for the Indiana Dept. of Environmental Management, a position he held from 1997 to 1999.

In 1998, Hamilton founded City First Bank of D.C., a certified Community Development Financial Institution focused on financing for low-to-moderate-income communities.

Hamilton, the nephew of former U.S. Congressman Lee Hamilton, holds an undergraduate degree from Harvard University and a law degree from Indiana University. He is married to Dawn Johnsen, an Indiana University law professor. The couple has two sons, Matthew and Eric.

Former Bloomington mayor Tomi Allison is serving as Hamilton’s campaign manager. His campaign treasurer is Jen Pearl.

Links to Additional Information

Campaign website

Email: johnhamiltonformayor@gmail.com


Twitter: @john4btown

Campaign finance reports (2019 election cycle):

In the News: John Hamilton

Hamilton, Smith, uncontested Democrats look to fall electionBloomington Herald-Times, May 7, 2019

Hamilton’s campaign funds bolstered by small groupBloomington Herald-Times, May 5, 2019

City candidates discuss inclusivity, guns at North’s election forumBloomington Herald-Times, April 17, 2019

Ask The Mayor: Bloomington’s Hamilton On Lack Of Primary Opponent, ButtigiegIndiana Public Media, April 17, 2019

Bloomington races not over, despite candidates’ actions; independent plans mayoral runBloomington Herald-Times, March 29, 2019

What Happens Next In The Bloomington Mayoral Primary ElectionIndiana Public Media, March 27, 2019

Barge, Hamilton receive endorsementsBloomington Herald-Times, March 25, 2019

Ask The Mayor: Bloomington’s Hamilton On Preservation, Annexation LawsuitIndiana Public Media, March 20, 2019

Barge, Hamilton talk housing at second debateWFHB, March 19, 2019

Bloomington Mayoral Candidates Debate Development, Healthcare, SustainabilityIndiana Public Media, March 19, 2019

Mayoral candidates Barge, Hamilton offer contrasting views at forumBloomington Herald-Times, March 19, 2019

Hamilton and Barge clash on the definition, importance of progressivismIndiana Daily Student, March 19, 2019

Mayoral candidate forum (video) – Community Access Television Services (CATS), March 18, 2019

Hamilton’s well-funded campaign dwarfs Barge’sBloomington Herald-Times, March 10, 2019

After three years in office, Hamilton is running again. Here’s what he’s done so far.Indiana Daily Student, March 6, 2019

Bloomington mayoral candidates Hamilton, Barge visit IU campus, debate affordable housingIndiana Daily Student, Feb. 26, 2019

Mayoral candidates discuss affordable housingBloomington Herald-Times, Feb. 26, 2019

Mayor condemns state government, discusses city’s accomplishments and challengesIndiana Daily Student, Feb. 22, 2019

State of the City addresses power dynamicsBloomington Herald-Times, Feb. 21, 2019

City’s Facebook page promoted mayor’s re-election yard signsBloomington Herald-Times, Feb. 21, 2019

Ask The Mayor: Bloomington’s Hamilton On New Hospital Traffic, State Of CityIndiana Public Media, Feb. 20, 2019

City to sign letter urging state legislators to pass hate crime legislationIndiana Daily Student, Jan. 30, 2019

Food and commercial workers union endorses HamiltonBloomington Herald-Times, Jan. 24, 2019

Ask The Mayor: Bloomington’s Hamilton On Reelection, ParkingIndiana Public Media, Jan. 16, 2019

Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton announces 2019 re-election campaignIndiana Daily Student, Dec. 5, 2018

Hamilton launches re-election campaign for mayorBloomington Herald-Times, Dec. 4, 2018

City council postpones decision on 4th Street, Trades District parking garages – Indiana Daily Student, Nov. 15, 2018