Only one of the four County Council seats up for election this year will have a contested race in Tuesday's primary.

Mike Bruce and Cree Green will face off in the primary for the Democratic nomination for District 1 in the November general election.

The winner will face Republican Ray Denning, who is running unopposed in the primary. Bill Hensler, who currently holds the District 1 seat, is not seeking re-election. The District 1 seat encompasses precincts Hanover 1, 2, 2A, 3 and Republican and Saluda precincts.

The County Council develops the operating budget for the county and oversees spending. Each of the board's seven members are elected to four-year terms.

Both Bruce and Green have experience working in finance and crafting operating budgets - Bruce as a Hanover College administrator and Green as a Southwestern School Board member.

Bruce, who grew up on a diary farm in Saluda Township, said he was encouraged to run by Marc Gray, chairman of the local Democratic party.

At Hanover College, Bruce supervises the business office, human resources, information technology, physical plant and auxiliary operations. He commonly deals with long-term financial planing and complex budget issues.

"So, it's very similar to what I do in my full-time job," Bruce said of the County Council position.

In walking through subdivisions and speaking with constituents, Bruce said voters are concerned about quality of roads, taxes and the fate of the local schools.

Bruce said he has acquired a copy of the County Council budget and has been looking over the expenses in order to get an idea of how and where the county spends. Bruce also said he would like to see the county develop a long-term economic plan, and with that, a long-term financial plan.

"It's just like driving in your car on a long trip, if you don't have a destination, you're going to get lost," he said. "So, we need to develop goals and find out ways to get there. And then find the money to do it."

Green has served on the Southwestern School Board for the past 12 years and hopes to continue her service with the County Council. Green, who works at Dow Corning, has worked closely with the school budget and says she can bring those skills over to the County Council.

"I just like serving the community and getting involved," she said, adding that she enjoys the "nuts and bolts" of the position.

Her primary concerns include maintaining the roads, working with the schools, reviewing the local drug issue and not raising taxes.

Green said some of her toughest decisions on the school board have been conducting a reduction-in-force of teachers and cutting bus drivers, noting that those votes are the ones "no one wants to make."

But even through the difficult task of crafting and maintaining a budget, Green said school board members have left Southwestern in good financial standing.

"I have a lot of experience with the budget, and actually our budget is pretty good at Southwestern," she said.

The other three County Council seats that will be on the November ballot include District 2, 3 and 4. District 2 is currently represented by Republican Chris Shelton. Republican Judy Smith, who serves as the current council president, represents District. 4. Neither of those districts have Democratic candidates for the primary.

Democrat Gary Armbrecht, who is unopposed in the primary, will be on the primary election ballot for District 3. Republican Larry Wynn, who currently represents District 3, decided not to run again. The Republican Party does not yet have a candidate to challenge Armbrecht.
Mike Bruce

Party: Democrat

Age: 58

Address: 311 S. Paine St. Hanover, IN 47243 

Contacts (phone, email): (812) 599-3436,

Education: Masters in business administration from Ball State University, bachelors of arts in business administration from Hanover College.

Current, past employment: Currently vice president for business affairs at Hanover College, former accounting manager for Grote Industries.                                              

Other relevant experience: Supervise business office, human resources, information technology, physical plant and auxiliary operations for Hanover College; experience with strategic planning and long-term financial plan development; manage and oversee the college endowment, develop annual budgets, manage a payroll of more than 300 employees; and coordinated bond issues to fund $60 million in various capital projects at Hanover.                                              

Family members: Wife Lisa, son Patrick, daughter Kelly, son-in-law Adam and granddaughter Ella.

Memberships: Former member of Chamber of Commerce board of directors, former member of the finance committee of Madison and Jefferson County Community Foundation, currently a member of the Audit Committee for the Independent Colleges of Indiana.

Cree Green

Party: Democrat

Age: 56

Address: 6269 State Road West 256, Madison, IN 47250

Contacts (phone, email): (812) 701-2074

Education: Trimble County High School, Florida Airline School.

Current, past employment: FlyAsh Direct, Lowes and Dow Corning.

Other relevant experience: Member of Southwestern School Board for 12 years, having served as president, vice president and secretary.

Family members: Two sons, Van and Henry; one granddaughter, Harper Green.

Memberships: Former Southwestern Recreation Association member.