Bruce Ungethiem’s Reasons for Running for County Commissioner and Bio



After receiving encouragement from many residents of Vanderburgh County, I have decided to run for the office of Vanderburgh County Commissioner because I believe our community needs and deserves an experienced leader they can depend on to lead us into the future.

There are three major reasons I believe this:

First, we need leaders that are more in tune with the people, who will listen to their concerns and be open and honest with them while not making decisions behind closed doors. This was very apparent when two of the three commissioners came out in favor of the reorganization plan of government but two out of three citizens were against it.

Second, we need a fiscally responsible conservative fiscal leader for the future. We will be challenged in the near future with providing essential services with limited funds. It will require new ideas and out of the box thinking to provide these services in a more efficient manner. My career in the private sector was spent working to continuously improve processes and I believe I can bring this practical problem solving ability to local government.

Third, it is critical that we develop a sustainable long range plan for the county. The economy is beginning to turn around and that will mean private industry will be ready to invest money in new ventures. We need to partner with our local developers and private industries to provide essential services to take advantage of these opportunities. We need to plan for growth and not reacting to it after the fact and we need to keep the best interest of the people in mind as we go forward.

After talking with family and friends and carefully consideration of the commitment this will require, I have decided to file for the commissioners office.

Bruce Ungenthiem

Mr. Ungenthiem’s Qualifications

Bruce was born in Vanderburgh County 1955 and grew up in the Darmstadt area. He graduated from Scott elementary school in 1969 and Central High School in 1973. It was at Central high school where he got his first taste of public service while working for the late David Koehler on his city council campaign. Bruce applied and was accepted into Rose Hulman Institute of Technology and in 1977 graduated with a BS degree in Mechanical engineering and a minor in political Science.

Upon graduation, Bruce accepted a job offer from Mead Johnson as an engineer and returned to Vanderburgh County. He worked for Mead Johnson in various capacities over the next 33 years including, Project Engineer, Automation Manager, Latin American Regional Technical Manager, and North American Regional Technical Manager. During that time he managed many multimillion dollar projects and even larger capital budgets for Mead Johnson. As a result of these duties he has traveled and worked in several foreign counties including Mexico, Ecuador, Argentina, China, the Netherlands, and Saudi Arabia. Bruce retired from Mead Johnson in 2010 at the age of 55 to pursue other interests.

The same year he started with Mead Johnson he married his hometown sweetheart, Debbie, and they have been married for 36 years. They have two grown children, Jeremy and Derek who both reside in Vanderburgh County and six grand children ranging from age 8 to 11 months. Bruce and Debbie now enjoy being grandparents and spending time with the grandchildren.

Bruce continued his interest in public service when he returned to Vanderburgh County after graduating college. He joined the Scott Township Volunteer fire department where he served for over five years as a second class fireman and a certified EMT. Once his children got old enough, he gave up the fire department to serve as coach, organizer, commissioner and whatever else was needed to various athletic organizations as the two boys grew up. He was one of the founders of MOYBA (McCutchanville Oak Hill Youth Basketball Association) and Central Junior Basketball Association. He also served as the President of the Scott Township Youth Baseball program for 7 years. When the boys reached high school age, Bruce supported the athletic programs they were involved in at Central High School.

In 1996, commercial development came to his neighborhood in the form of a grain milling plant and there were many odor issues as a result. Bruce organized a group of concerned citizens and persuaded the owner of the milling plant and local county officials to fix the problem by spending several million dollars in improvements to their waste handling system to eliminate the odor issue. Shortly thereafter, Bruce ran in the Republican primary for County Council 2nd district against a 25 year incumbent. Although he did not win, the experience taught him a lot about local government.

In 2008, talks began to surface about another attempt to consolidate local government and Bruce became involved. After attending several meetings and realizing that local citizen input was not being listened to, Bruce decided to form a committee to change the plan. The original committee was called We The People and its mission was to change the plan so that it would be acceptable to all county residents. This attempt was not successful and the plan went forward to the ballot with few changes. Because the plan was not acceptable to many, Bruce and a group of concerned citizens then formed CORE (Citizens opposed to Reorganization in Evansville were Bruce served as Co Chairman and spokesperson. They worked diligently in a grass roots effort to inform people about the details of the plan and why it was not good for the county. Despite being outspent by a 4 to 1 margin, the question on the ballot was defeated by a 2 to 1 margin. Once this was accomplished, Bruce lead the same group of people to the Statehouse to change the reorganization laws so that in the future any reorganization plans will have to satisfy all areas of the county. This CORE organization is still active and working on other issues of local interest.

Now with the experiences he has had, Bruce has decided to again volunteer for public service again by filing for County Commissioner Second district. Bruce will use his many experiences in industry and the public sector to provide leadership in the community that is in tune with the public and a willingness to listen.


    • He does if he’s interested in any real news, which this does NOT qualify as.
      Mr. Ungentheim’s candidacy may well influence Marsha Abell’s decision on whether to run again, but that is not any big deal, either. He is putting another crack in the facade of the local Republican party, though, and I LIKE that!

      • No, I think you’re frightened. While it’s true there is a schism in the GOP, this will lead to a stronger Party in the end, one ready to leave behind the failures of ‘social conservatism’ and ‘neo-conservatism’ in favor of first principles of personal and economic liberty.

        The libertarian resurgence is eroding the left’s monopoly on the youth vote. The real battle for the future of politics is always fought on the youth front.

        • You sound a lot like H. Ross Perot. Theory was great, practice flopped. The youth vote didn’t get Ron Paul anyplace, either. No, schisms do NOT make parties stronger. How many examples of that can you cite?

        • No “reply” button, so this is a little out of order.
          As for “hope and change” it seems to be going fairly well. Did you notice what happened in Virginia? Terry McAuliffe was a poor candidate, but he WON. Even the GOP pundits are admitting to fears that the “solid south” is slipping away. Our neighbor just to the south, KY, is going to be a great race to watch. McConnell shouldn’t have any opponents, but he has two viable ones. He will probably come out of his primary, bruised and behind in funding for the general election. Alison Lundergan-Grimes shouldn’t have a chance, but the GOP intra-party strife will give her one, and Emily’s List will enhance it.
          So, now, where are the examples of schisms strengthening parties, again?

          • Getting rid of McConnell, even if we lose the seat to a Dem, which is unlikely, will signal its time for a significant move. By throwing out bums like him, we will attract more people than we lose.

        • One more question, please. Do you really think young women are going to be thrilled with the anti-birth control, anti-choice party and come out to vote for them? I think not. They will either stay home or vote Demo.

          • I think young women are sophisticated enough to understand there is a valid point of compromise between protecting innocent life and preserving individual liberties. A frank discussion divorced from excessive religious fervor and informed with humanistic morality and scientific understanding is the way forward on these unnecessarily divisive issues and should lead to a place where most young women could get aboard without alienating all pro-life advocates.

            But in order to move the GOP in this direction, some growing pains will be necessary. The biggest revelation will come when the GOP stops promoting the legislation of morality issues. I realize this bludgeon is used as a fundraising tool, but its one we could do without.

      • I hope he does a good job at cracking the Republican Party. But, I seriously doubt that he will as well as Rick Davis did to the democrat party.

  1. Bruce is another man who is against everything, but for nothing. Sad to say, but I’ll vote for Marsha over him.

      • I did it last time around. I was trying to help get that loon Kristi Risk elected and successfully helped that loon Richard Mourdock. Hopefully the tea nuts help us pick up the 8th district this time. Kristi was just a little too looney even for the tea party types.

        • It looks like there isn’t going to be any big Demo primary, so I will probably vote in the Republican primary, too. I will likely go for the more extreme candidates on the ballot, so I will watch the GOP high-jinx with interest.

    • I hope that is true. We have had too many politicians that are for things not good for the city or county. If we had more politicians against frivolous things we would still have Roberts, not fighting over a hotel and be working on important stuff, like sewers, streets, sidewalks and public education.

    • You know nothing !

      What if the problem is that the local politicians have not put any projects in front of Bruce which merit approval ? Would he be wrong to be against these poor projects ?

      • I was responding to the poster ‘KnowNothing’, but my joke was lost in the shuffle due to this atrocious software. Come on CCO, spend some money, up your ad rates.

  2. Way to go Bruce, finally someone of quality to vote for instead of the lesser of 2 evils. Thanks for stepping up for the citizens of this county. I predict a landslide win in both the primary if Marsha is silly enough to run and a definite win in the fall if the rumors are correct and Jarboe runs (talk about skeletons in his closet).

    • I agree. Unfortunately Marsha got my vote last time because of who she was running against – Troy Tornatta. I couldn’t stand him so I really voted AGAINST him rather than FOR her – even thought I couldn’t stand Marsha, either. But I couldn’t stand Troy more than I couldn’t stand Marsha. Now, FINALLY, I have someone to vote FOR instead of AGAINST! I’m voting FOR BRUCE U!

  3. The entire 2 party system, as well as primaries are obsolete. I’ve not voted a strait ticket in my memory, and I was the last group who had to wait till they were 21 to vote. The law was changed to 18 the next year. Wake up America, vote/ endorse/ work for the candidate, not the party. Bruce gets my vote, tired of the status quo.

  4. I’m definitely a solid Ungethiem supporter because I can’t stand Abel. But, I would like to hear more about his ideas for growth as he touched on briefly. Growing smartly doesn’t mean developing the University Parkway, Felstead, the interstate, or building ball fields in the boondocks. And it certainly doesn’t mean equalizing sewer/water rates.

  5. If you will check the records back to when Abell first ran you will find that she usually had an opponent who had a ton of baggage. This time she will have a real opponent. Let’s see what happens this time.

  6. First it was Mr. Selby for State Representative and now it looks like Mr. Ungentheim for County Commissioner. Although Selby didn’t win, he sure gave a hell of a fight and maybe that inspired Bruce to jump in to say no to the status quo. Just look at the language ‘experienced leader’ – that was the same thing Selby said in the news report the other day. So maybe we can find another one to jump in to a state senate seat or county council seat! Clean up time.

Comments are closed.