Outcome: Ron Smith won the Democratic Party primary for District 3 with 522 votes (73.73 percent), compared to 186 votes (26.27 percent) for Jim Blickensdorf. [Full results here]
Jim Blickensdorf is running for a four-year term on the Bloomington Common Council representing District 3. He faces Ron Smith in the May 7, 2019 Democratic Party primary. No Republican candidates filed for this seat in the primary election. The incumbent Democrat, Allison Chopra, is not seeking re-election.
On March 27, he announced that he has resigned from the city’s Parking Commission and was discontinuing his council campaign. The announcement came four days after the Bloomington Herald-Times published an article about his 1998 involvement in the purchase of a Bedford strip club and of fines and court fees related to unpaid parking tickets.
His name will still appear on the ballot, because the deadline for removing it was Feb. 11.
District 3 covers portions of Bloomington’s northeast and east sides. (Click here for a map of city districts.)
Blickensdorf is the owner of Grazie Italiano, a restaurant located on the square in downtown Bloomington.
On his campaign website, Blickensdorf highlights these key issues: 1) livability and quality of life; 2) managing future development; 3) civility and social justice; and 4) environmental sustainability and economic development. He told the Indiana Daily Student that he’s running to address challenges on Bloomington’s northeast side, including the impact of the new hospital complex and residential development.
Before resigning, Blickensdorf served on the City of Bloomington’s Parking Commission since January 2017 as a council appointee, for a term ending on Jan. 1, 2020. He chaired the commission when it presented recommendations to council last year for raising parking rates and making other changes to the city’s parking system.
He was a member of the city’s Urban Enterprise Association in 2015.
On a campaign finance disclosure form, Blickensdorf states that he is also a member of Authentic Southern Concepts LLC.
He is serving as his own campaign treasurer and 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: Jim Blickensdorf
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
Bloomington races not over, despite candidates’ actions; independent plans mayoral run – Bloomington Herald-Times, March 29, 2019
Blickensdorf drops out of city council race, resigns from parking commissions – Indiana Daily Student, March 27, 2019
Blickensdorf resigns from city council race, parking commission – Bloomington Herald-Times, March 27, 2019
City council hopeful’s 1998 strip club purchase led to lawsuits, state supreme court ruling – Bloomington Herald-Times, March 23, 2019
Newcomer city council candidates’ ages trend downward – Bloomington Herald-Times, Feb. 25, 2019
Bloomington restaurant owner running for city council – Indiana Daily Student, Jan. 21, 2019
Blickensdorf files for city council’s District 3 seat – Bloomington Herald-Times, Jan. 16, 2019
Bloomington city council approves major parking changes – WFHB, Sept. 20, 2018
Bloomington Considers Eliminating Free Parking, Increasing Parking Fines – Indiana Public Media, Sept. 13, 2018
Higher costs, tighter rules proposed for parking – Bloomington Herald-Times, Sept. 12, 2018
Taking a metered approach: As Terre Haute examines parking, a look at Bloomington’s experience – Terre Haute Tribune Star, Nov. 25, 2017
Daily Local News (includes interview with Jim Blickensdorf) – WFHB, Nov. 21, 2017
Parking commission report shows city’s parking relies on meters, subsidies – Bloomington Herald-Times, Nov. 17, 2017