Stephen Bartels of Eckerty is the new District 74 state representative.
He was chosen Monday evening during a Republican caucus of committeewomen and committeemen at Perry Central High School in Leopold.
Bartels, 49, will complete the last year of Lloyd Arnold’s term. Arnold is now director of law enforcement for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.
District 74 includes Cass, Ferdinand, Jackson, Jefferson and Patoka townships in Dubois County as well as portions of Spencer and Orange counties and all of Perry and Crawford counties
“Local government is the key to our district’s success,” Bartels said during the caucus. “Local government sets the state for the balance of tourism, economic development, job creations and family farms. I see the state representative not only as a supporter of local government, but also a protector of it.”
Bartels is the owner of Patoka Lake Marina and a co-owner of Patoka Lake Winery. He is also president of the Crawford County Council. He is a former director of the Crawford County Chamber of Commerce, and is a former member and former president of the Crawford County Tourism Board.
A native of Shelbyville, Bartels is a graduate of Shelbyville Senior High School, Vincennes University and Indiana State University. He has nine years of experience in law enforcement and is an Indiana Law Enforcement Academy graduate. He has 22 years of military service with the U.S. Army, and is a retired major. He is a charter member of the International Union of Police Associations AFL-CIO Local #133 and the union’s first president.
Bartels ran against five other candidates — John Bowen of Santa Claus, Zachary Brown of French Lick, Richard Lee of Lamar, Mary Roberson of St. Croix and Ron Smith of Santa Claus.
Huntingburg Mayor Denny Spinner introduced Bartels at the caucus and touted his abilities.
“He runs his own business. He understands tourism. He understands economic development. He understands education,” Spinner said. “I think he is one of the most well-rounded candidates that we could ever ask for.”
The voting process took three rounds. Lee and Smith were eliminated in round one and Bowen was eliminated in round two. In the end, Bartels received 31 of the 60 available votes; Roberson received 28 and Brown received one.
Bartels is also planning to run for the position in next year’s election, he said.