Now posted: The Beacon’s voter’s guide for 2019 Bloomington general elections

This November will mark the first election, dating back at least to 1967, that not all registered voters in Bloomington will able to cast a ballot for city offices—mayor, city clerk, and the nine-member common council.

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Shown are the two districts where Bloomington city elections will be held on Nov. 5 this year, with the names of candidates who will appear on the ballot. (Dave Askins/Beacon)

That’s because elections are contested in just two city council districts: District 2 and District 3. Voters in District 2 will choose between Andrew Guenther (R) and Sue Sgambelluri (D). In District 3, the choice is between Nick Kappas (I), Ron Smith (D) and Marty Spechler (I).

The Beacon’s voters guide includes short profiles of the five candidates in contested elections and links to other useful information. The guide also includes candidates in non-contested elections.

In areas other than District 2 and District 3, no elections will be held, because there are no contested races. Ballots in those districts will show just the contested races. That’s not automatic, but in areas where no races are contested, state law gives county election boards the authority to cancel them. And that’s what Monroe County’s election board did in August.

Of course, in years when a race for any one of the citywide offices in contested, that means voters in every part of the city can go to the polls, even if the race for their own city council district is uncontested. The mayor, city clerk, and city council at-large seats are elected citywide.

But 2019 is the first year in the modern era of elections, which started in 1967, when none of the citywide races have been contested.

In 1999, the Republican Party didn’t field a mayoral candidate, but Democrat John Fernandez faced three independent candidates for mayor: Albert Clemens, Bob Lewis, and Racid Maidi. And the member-at-large race that year featured a full slate of three candidates for each of the two major parties, plus a Libertarian.

In 2011, the races for mayor and clerk were both uncontested. But a full slate of three Democrats (Andy Ruff, Susan Sandberg and Timothy Mayer) was joined by two Republicans (Ed Schwartzman and Jennifer Mickel) in the member-at-large council races.

That means this year’s voter’s guide will tell you in some cases who the candidates are, but in other cases who the winner will be, by default. All the candidates appear in the Beacon’s voter’s guide.

Early voting starts on Oct. 21. Election Day is Nov. 5. The guide includes more detailed election information.

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