Mike Bruce, left, will face Ray Denning in the general election for the County Council District 1 seat.
Mike Bruce, left, will face Ray Denning in the general election for the County Council District 1 seat.
First-time candidate Mike Bruce will be the Democratic nominee for the County Council District 1 seat in November's general election.

Bruce defeated Cree Green in Tuesday's primary getting 68 percent of the vote. He unofficially received 438 votes to Green's 198.

District 1, a seat on the seven-member County Council, serves residents in Hanover, Republican and Saluda townships. Bruce will face Republican Ray Denning in November. Denning was unopposed in the primary.

Tuesday was the first time either Bruce or Green had been in a County Council primary race.

Green has served on the Southwestern Schools board for the last 12 years and also works at Dow Corning.

Bruce, 55, is the vice president for business affairs at Hanover College and a former accounting manager for Grote Industries. He has experience developing annual budgets, managing payrolls and long-term financial planning.

This was his first election on the ballot.

"My initial reaction is that I'm just really grateful at the turnout and the number of people who voted for me," he said.

"I knew it was going to be a challenge to able to beat (Green), because she was already on the Southwestern School Board," he said.

Bruce grew up on a dairy farm in Saluda Township and lives in Hanover. He holds a masters degree in business administration from Ball State University and a bachelors of arts in business administration from Hanover College.

"I felt like I would be a good candidate for County Council because of my work experience and education," he said.

If elected to the County Council, Bruce said his main objective would be focusing on a long-term financial plan and frugal budgeting that can steer the county in a positive direction for years to come.

"We need to develop long-term plans and assess what really has a shot of working and what will attract support," he said.

District 1 was the only County Council race that had a contested primary Tuesday. There will be three other County Council seats up for election in November, including districts 2, 3 and 4.

The District 2 seat is currently held by Republican Chris Shelton and has no Democratic opponent at this time. The District 4 seat is currently held by Judy Smith, the president of the Council, and has no Democratic opponent at this time. Both Shelton and Smith were unopposed in the primary.

Gary Armbrecht was unopposed in the primary and will be the Democratic nominee for the District 3 seat, which has no Republican candidate at this time.

The parties will be able to nominate candidates to fill ballot vacancies later this year.