Eastern Bartholomew County to see one of few contested local races

Scott Bonnell
Hanna Omar

Voters in eastern Bartholomew County will be deciding between Republican Scott Bonnell and Democrat Hanna Omar in the District 1 County Council Race.

The seat is currently held by Republican Chris Ogle, but Ogle did not seek re-election.

Bonnell, 56, is a Columbus Fire Department firefighter and fire inspector, as well as a farmer. He is married to Lois and they have two children. He attended St. Peters Lutheran School, Columbus East High School and Purdue University, as well as the National Fire Academy.  He has been Farm Bureau president in Bartholomew County for eight years.

Omar, 36, is married to Nebil A Baqhum and they have a son. She works for a financial institution and has bachelors and masters degree in political science from Fordham University. She also holds an MBA from IUPUC. Although she has never run for office before, she serves on the Columbus Board of Zoning Appeals. She is a member of Bartholomew County Indivisible, is organizing the FFY’s Great Girls and Wonderful Women event.

We asked the candidates how the county council can best provide for road repairs.

Bonnell said that current funding seems sufficient.

Omar said she has been talking to people and reading about creative ways to improve road funding.

We asked the candidates about plans to borrow $6 million dollars for a new highway garage.

Omar said she needs to understand the project better before coming to a conclusion..

Bonnell said the current garage definitely needs refurbished or replaced.

You can hear the complete answers to these questions and others on our website.