By BRADEN LAMMERS
Former Jefferson County Commissioner Julie Berry has announced her plans to run for the Indiana Senate seat in District 45.
Berry, a Democrat, served three terms as the first female county commissioner in Jefferson County. She also served as president of the bipartisan Indiana Association of County Commissioners and was named the 2011 outstanding Indiana county commissioner by the Association of Indiana Counties.
Gov. Mitch Daniels also appointed Berry to the Indiana Courthouse Preservation Advisory Commission, where she served with other members, including retired Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Randall Shepard.
“I have been approached by Republicans, Democrats and independents throughout southeastern Indiana asking me to consider running for this position,” she said in a press release. “I have decided to go forward based on these conversations, and bring with me the experience gained from serving locally and statewide. My main focus as a member of the Indiana General Assembly will be on jobs and education.”
Berry is a native of Hanover, is married and is the mother of two grown children. She is a graduate of Ball State University and the National Development Council Economic Development Professional Course Program.
“I will bring my perspective as a mother, a local government official and a private-sector business person to Indianapolis to represent the majority views of southeastern Indiana,” Berry said in the release. “I will listen carefully to make sure I represent the values and concerns of my region of the state. I have a proven track record of working in a bi-partisan manner to accomplish goals and objectives.”
Multiple calls made to Sen. Jim Smith, R-District 45, were not returned as of press time. He has not announced whether or not he plans to seek reelection for a second term.
Smith currently serves on Senate committees for: Commerce, Economic Development and Technology; Insurance and Financial Institutions; Local Government; and Tax and Fiscal Policy.
District 45 includes all of Jefferson, Scott and Switzerland Counties, as well as portions of Clark and Jackson Counties.