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Monroe County Commissioners President Exploring Run For Bloomington Mayor

"There may be good intentions, but there’s bad management," Barge says of the current administration (Steve Burns, WFIU/WTIU News).

Monroe County Commissioners President Amanda Barge says she's exploring a possible run for Bloomington mayor. 

Barge made the announcement during a press conference at RCA Park Tuesday morning. She says she's heard from several people over the past few months who are encouraging her to run. 

"I have every interest in running for mayor," she says. "But, in order to do that responsibly, anyone choosing to be mayor must first listen and learn before they lead."

Barge is creating an exploratory committee that will engage with Bloomington residents to see what kind of support there is for her candidacy.

She says listening is something Mayor John Hamilton hasn't done enough of since taking office. While Barge supported Hamilton when he announced his run for mayor in 2015, she says she's disappointed by the lack of progress in Bloomington since he took office in 2016. 

"Nearly every city government initiative has stalled, derailed or failed because of leadership that lacks inclusiveness or that truly values the input of other people," Barge says. "Whether it’s annexation, the BearCat armored vehicle purchase, the mishandled broadband initiative, the publishing of private addresses of drug overdose victims, or even something simple that could have been managed easily, like the introduction of scooter businesses. There seems to be a Midas touch in reverse effect going on."

Hamilton says he's proud of his administration's accomplishments.

"I don't really want to get into political things like that back and forth," he says. "I will say I'm very proud that our city is about the most transparent government that we've got in the state."

Hamilton wouldn't say whether he plans to run for re-election.

"I think it’s a little early for politics with Veteran’s Day and Thanksgiving coming," he says. "I want to wish everyone a good holiday with their families and there will be plenty of time to get into politics soon."

Barge says she hopes to decide whether to run for mayor sometime in January.

She's served as a Monroe County Commissioner since 2016.

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