In just over two weeks, Bartholomew County voters will be choosing from a handful of contested races on the ballot.
In eastern Bartholomew County, voters 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 what the county’s role should be in stemming the opioid epidemic.
Bonnell said he would like to see those with addictions cured and brought back into society.
Omar said she has been in conversations with Jeff Jones, executive lead of ASAP, the Alliance for Substance Abuse Progress in Bartholomew County.
We asked the candidates how they would change the funding and staffing of the county sheriff’s department
Omar said she has been talking with Sheriff Matt Myers about his department’s needs.
Bonnell agrees that Myers is doing a good job as sheriff.
We asked the candidates: The County Council enacted an increase in the local option income tax last year. Much of that revenue remains unallocated, although it has been earmarked for anti-opioid epidemic efforts. How should that money be spent?
Bonnell said that there are many unmet needs in the county.
Omar said the money should be spent exactly as promised to the community, when the decision was made.
Early voting is going on now at the Bartholomew County Courthouse voter registration office from 8 to 5 on weekdays. The general election is Nov. 6th.