Kate Rosenbarger is running for a four-year term on the Bloomington Common Council representing District 1. She is unopposed in the race, so no election for District 1 will be held on Nov. 5, and Rosenbarger will win the race by default.
Rosenbarger won the Democratic Party primary for District 1 with 619 votes (65.92 percent), compared to 264 votes (28.12 percent) for incumbent Chris Sturbaum and 56 votes (5.96 percent) for Denise Valkyrie. [Full results here]
No Republican candidate contested the primary and the party did not “caucus-in” a candidate. No independent or write-in candidates filed paperwork to be a candidate.
District 1 covers portions of Bloomington’s west and south sides. (Click here for a map of city districts.)
On her campaign website, Rosenbarger organizes her priorities into three main categories: (1) inclusive, responsive and transparent city government; (2) neighborhoods and housing affordability; and (3) sustainability and climate change. She describes herself as “an experienced, next-generation leader who will bring a new perspective to council.”
Rosenbarger is executive director for TEDxBloomington. In 2018 she worked as deputy campaign manager for Liz Watson, a Democrat who ran for Indiana’s 9th District Congressional seat but lost to Republican Trey Hollingsworth.
From 2011 through 2017, Rosenbarger was a manager with NeighborWorks America, a D.C.-based nonprofit focused on affordable housing and community development. Prior to that she was director of communications for the AFL-CIO in Colorado.
She is the sister of Beth Rosenbarger, the city’s planning services manager. Beth Rosenbarger is married to Matt Flaherty, who is running as one of the Democratic Party’s at-large candidates for council.
Kate Rosenbarger and Flaherty were co-chairs of Friends of the IU Cross Country Course. The group tried to save the course from development of the new Regional Academic Health Center, which is being constructed on the same site. Flaherty and Rosenbarger held a joint campaign kick-off event in February.
Rosenbarger grew up in New Albany, Indiana. She received both an undergraduate degree and a law degree from Indiana University.
She is married to Ryan Hesselink, who works for ZWZ Bearing USA Inc.
Elizabeth Aubrey is Rosenbarger’s campaign treasurer. Rosenbarger is serving as her own campaign chair.
Links to Additional Information
Campaign finance reports (2019 election cycle):
- Statement of organization
- Declaration of candidacy
- Statement of economic interests
- Pre-Primary Report of Receipts and Expenditures
In the News: Kate Rosenbarger
Contested Bloomington elections set for fall: None citywide, two of six council districts – B Square Beacon, July 3, 2019
Filing deadline passes with no independent candidates for Bloomington mayor on the ballot B Square Beacon, July 1, 2019
Rosenbarger, Sgambelluri upend Sturbaum, Granger; Rollo, Piedmont-Smith win
– Bloomington Herald-Times, May 7, 2019
City Council Newcomers Prevail In Democratic Primary – Indiana Public Media, May 7, 2019
District 1 city council candidates talk hospital, annexation and growth – Bloomington Herald-Times, May 4, 2019
City candidates discuss inclusivity, guns at North’s election forum – Bloomington Herald-Times, April 17, 2019
Council candidates say 2016 election, demographic representation made them run – Indiana Daily Student, April 7, 2019
Council candidates discuss Fourth Street parking garage, housing development – Indiana Daily Student, April 2, 2019
Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce candidate forum (video) – Community Access Television Services (CATS), April 2, 2019
City council candidates discuss parking, the downtown and affordable housing – Bloomington Herald-Times, April 2, 2019
Executive director of TEDxBloomington running for city council seat – Indiana Daily Student, April 1, 2019
Newcomer city council candidates’ ages trend downward – Bloomington Herald-Times, Feb. 25, 2019
Big Talk Interview with District 1 Candidate Kate Rosenbarger – WFHB, Feb. 21, 2019
Rosenbarger takes aim at District 1 council seat – Bloomington Herald-Times, Jan. 8, 2019
Bloomington City Council Votes Down Fourth Street Garage Reconstruction Proposal – Indiana Public Media, Dec. 20, 2018
New hospital’s impact on IU cross country course drawing concern – Bloomington Herald-Times, Feb. 14, 2018
Residents Worry New IU Hospital Could Impact Running Course – Indiana Public Media, Feb. 9, 2018