Early Thursday morning, Andrew Guenther filed the paperwork required to create an exploratory committee for a Bloomington city council run in 2023.
Guenther will be starting law school at Indiana University this fall. He holds an undergraduate degree from IU in public affairs, and is currently working on a masters degree.
Guenther is former chair of Bloomington’s environmental commission. He has also served on Monroe County’s environmental commission and Bloomington’s board of housing quality appeals.
In 2019 Guenther ran for the District 2 city council seat as a Republican, but lost in the general election to Democrat Sue Sgambelluri.
Compared to 2019, two things are different about a potential run next year. First, Guenther is considering a run as an independent candidate, unaffiliated with any political party. Guenther announced on Jan. 2, 2021 that he was no longer a member of the Republican Party.
A second difference is that Guenther would be a candidate for an at-large seat on the council.
The three at-large seats are elected citywide, which means candidate eligibility is based just on city residency. That removes from the equation any uncertainty related to the outcome of this year’s redistricting process—which will likely see some changes to the boundaries of the six council districts.
Looking north with the election operations building on the left and the new parking garage in the background.
The hand of Monroe County clerk Nicole Browne, after she voted. She’s running unopposed for re-election.
The trademark blue former NAPA building at 3rd and Walnut streets, just south of the new parking garage and west of the downtown transit center, is the new home to Monroe County’s voting operations.
Tuesday was the first day of in-person early voting for the May 3 primary elections.
At 8 o’clock sharp, Monroe County clerk Nicole Browne emerged from the front door to perform the ritual that marked the start of the voting day.
Browne raised her voice to the overcast sky: “Hear ye, hear ye, the polls are now open!”
In the first half hour of voting, only a handful of voters cast a ballot. By then, light rain was falling on the few candidates and volunteers who had come to canvas the early voters.
By around 4 p.m., the count of early voters had reached just 58. For the general election in 2020, Monroe County averaged more than 1,000 early in-person voters a day. It’s not surprising that interest in the primary elections, between presidential election years, is comparatively lower.
Four and a half more days remain next week for anyone to file as a candidate in the May 3 primaries for county and state offices. The deadline is noon Friday, Feb. 4.
Based on primary filings so far, for the general election in November there are just a few holes—races for which no candidate for either party has yet declared a candidacy. Those include the trustee races for Bean Blossom, Salt Creek and Washington townships.
For county offices, no contested primaries on the Republican side have yet emerged. For the Democrats there are now four contested primaries—for judge, recorder, sheriff, and county commissioner.
For the general election in November, it looks like voters will be able to choose a Republican for at least five of the township trustee spots.