Five Republicans running for three seats on Council

Bartholomew County Republicans will be choosing today between five candidates running for the three at-large seats on the County Council.

Council incumbents Bill Lentz, Jim Reed and Evelyn Strietelmeier-Pence are running with Mike Lovelace and Matt Miller. The top three candidates will appear on the November ballot.

Lentz, 58, is a farmer and landlord. He has been married to his wife Shari for 33 years and has a son, daughter and grandson. He graduated from Hauser High School and took ag courses at Purdue University. He is in his third term on the County Council and previously served for 16 years on the Flat Rock-Hawcreek School Corp. board.

Lovelace, 69, retired after being a police officer for 27 years. He is married to Sandy and has a daughter and grandson. He was appointed to Columbus City Council and later ran for City Council at-large and City Council 4th District. He was the director of the Police Athletic League in Columbus for 30 years.

Miller is a former Bartholomew County Sheriff’s deputy and current owner of Raft to Rafters, a family business. He and his wife Lisa were married last year. He graduated from Purdue University and the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy.. He is a life-long member of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church. wife Lisa.

Reed, 70, is a farmer, independent business owner and worked part-time at the Bartholomew County assessor’s office. He has been married 46 years and has three grown children and six grandchildren.  He ran for the County Council and lost but filled Eugene Eckrote’s seat after the former council member’s death. He ran again and won four years ago.

Strietelmeier-Pence retired from Cummins in 2011 and is now self-employed. She is married to Dr. Ben Pence and they have a daughter and three grandchildren.  She graduated from high school here and attended IUPUI. She also attended the National School of Aeronautics. The only office she has run for is Bartholomew County Council and she has served for 36 years.

We asked the candidates what qualities they would bring to the County Council.

Lentz said:

05-03 Bill Lentz Question 1

Lovelace said:

05-03 Mike Lovelace Question 1

Miller said:

05-03 Matt Miller Question 1


Reed said:

05-03 Jim Reed Question 1

Strietelmeier-Pence said:

05-03 Evelyn Pence Question 1

The winner of today’s primary will be facing Democrats Pam Clark and Lynne Fleming in the November general election. Democrat Gaby Cheek also appears on the primary ballot, but she has announced she will be dropping out of the race due to family and work commitments.