Meet Your 2020 Candidates: County Council Member At Large

Grant County will be holding elections this year for many important local offices, which have the power to change things here at home.

In Indiana, our Primary Election will be held on May 5th, and the General Election will be November 3rd.

If you’re not yet registered to vote, the deadline to do so (to participate in the primary) is April 6th. If you would like to register, or to check your registration status, please visit the Indiana Voters website at

We reached out to all of the county candidates running in this year’s primary. Not all candidates responded, but everyone was given the same opportunity.

Here is the information we’ve gathered, to help you make an informed decision this election cycle.

Hello, my name is Shane Middlesworth, I was born and raised in Grant County.
My wife and I are now raising our three kids on the farm where I grew up. Grant County has and will always be my home.

I am running for re-election for another four-year term because more
than ever the Grant County Council needs members who have strong
leadership skills, high integrity and common sense. Grant County needs
leaders who are truly invested in the fiscal responsibility of our diverse
and vibrant County.

We have many dynamic issues in Grant County and opportunities in front of us. The work is fruitful, vital and meaningful. I am grateful for the outpouring of support from my friends and family, other community leaders and many residents to continue my position on the council.

I was elected president of the council last year and during this time we have accomplished many things. I am very proud of the direction we are taking with the implementation of central dispatch. I have played a key role in decisions with the funding and building renovations of the central dispatch. My passion has been to focus on public safety. Central dispatch will save lives by eliminating transfers of 911 calls which will increase response time by first responders. Central dispatch will create a huge cost saving for the city of Marion, Gas City and Grant County. I’m looking forward to the opening of this center sometime in May.

One of many of my top policy positions is to review wage rates of all county employees and the retention of those employees. Over the last several years we have lost a lot of good well-trained employees to other county or the private sectors. Unemployment rate is currently low, and this makes attracting new hires difficult at times. Typically, as a county we are in the bottom percentage compared with other counties when it comes to wages. A few months ago, we hired a Human Resource Director. I strongly feel the new HR director will greatly aid the council in working towards better employee retention and wage equality. By working together, we will resolve these issues.

I am often asked, “What is the role of the county council”?  The county council is the decision maker regarding fiscal affairs. We also are tasked with approving and fixing annual operating budgets of all county government offices. We establish salaries, wages and other compensations for all county officials and employees.  We work on fixing tax rates and establish levies on all county property for the purpose of raising fund to meet budget requirements. As well we authorize all borrowing of money in the form of bonds or loans. Another key task is we preform non-binding reviews of budgets for certain non-elected boards in the county and other civil units. My goals have always remained the same, keep taxes low, maintain a balanced budget while still providing the best service possible to all of Grant County.

Just remember, you have a voice; your vote is crucial. I respectfully ask you to get out and vote.

Vote Shane Middlesworth for County council.

Jonathan Perez was born and raised in Marion, IN and is the son of Jose and Amy (Sinclair) Perez. He is a first generation Cuban American, the grandson of Emilio (deceased) and Elsa Perez, who came to the United States to flee political persecution in 1962 with their two young sons, Emilio and Jose, through sponsorship from the local First Presbyterian Church in Marion, IN. Jonathan a Marion High School graduate and is married to Katie Morgan Perez, and has two children, Eliana and Lincoln, and four stepchildren, Tyler, Trevor, Elizabeth, and Elaine Morgan. He resides in rural Grant County.

Jonathan has served Grant County at every level of government since 2006 when he began his career as an intern with the Grant County Commissioners, and since that time has served in  many capacities including Grant County as Executive Assistant to the Grant County Commissioners, Director of Community Relations for Congressman Dan Burton in the 5th Congressional District, Chief of Staff and Economic Development Director for Mayor Wayne Seybold and Economic Development Director for Mayor Jess Alumbaugh for the City of Marion,  and currently as Town Manager of Upland, Indiana. Additionally, he currently serves the Grant County Economic Growth Council Board of Directors and is currently an Executive Committee member, East Central Indiana Regional Planning District Board of Directors, the United Way of Grant County Board of Directors, Family Service Society, INC Board of Directors, Marion Rotary North, and previously served on the Marion Grant County Chamber of Commerce,  Boys and Girls Club of Grant County Board of Directors, YMCA of Grant County Board of Directors and three terms as a gubernatorial appointment for Governor’s Daniels and Pence on the Serve Indiana Commission. 

Jonathan was appointed to the Grant County Council following a caucus to fill a vacancy in January 2019, and is seeking re-election. He chose to run for this office, as he believed he could provide experience and fresh new ideas to the table and values the importance of trust between the taxpayers and the elected  government officials and the need to make decisions with care and thought for the future. 

Jonathan’s top policy positions include improving best practices for government efficiency in operations and spending, support for first responders and county employees, and improving governmental relations within the county to allow for streamlined services. Jonathan believes that doing something because that is the way it has always been done is not acceptable, and that the status quo can limit progress. He believes that transparency and improved communication is essential to providing  taxpayers a strong Grant County, a safe place to live and work and raise a family. Jonathan encourages voters to participate in the important election process this May, and is thankful to have been raised in such a wonderful community, and will continue to dedicate his life to serving in gratitude. 

I’m Mike Roorbach, a current at-large member of the Grant County Council since being elected in 2016, and a Republican Candidate for re-election.

I’m also a Republican Precinct Committeeman and have previously served on the Marion School Board for 10 years and the Marion City Council.

My philosophy of government service is to spend taxpayer money conservatively as I do my own money. I don’t support raising taxes and I’m very cautious about spending the money the County has.

I don’t see a need for drastic changes in County government because our current elected county officials are all serving with competence and integrity and are very careful with tax money.

I would like to see us finish the reconfiguration and renovation of the jail, and the central dispatch projects, things that I’ve worked on and supported.

I would appreciate your vote in the May Republican primary and in November if I am a d successful nominee.

I would like to introduce myself to the residents of Grant County, I am Chuck Poling. I am asking for your vote to be elected to one of the three positions in the Grant County Council at large election, in the upcoming May primary on the Republican ballot. I am a lifelong resident of Grant County and the 34 year owner of “Chuck’s Sewer and Plumbing” in Marion. I am a proud U.S. Army Veteran, an Indiana State delegate and a member of the Grant County Health Department board. I am an active volunteer in the community with the Boys and Girls Club of Grant County, the Center Township Fire Department and several other Non-Profit organizations.

I have two children and two adorable grand-children. I am not a professional politician and this is my first attempt at running for a political office. I just believe that it might be time for a new voice and a new perspective in regard to how business can be conducted on behalf of the citizens and tax-payers in Grant County. Yes, I know that the election is more than three months away but I felt it was important to let you know who I am and why I have decided to file for election to this position. The County Council is the fiscal body of this county and they have tough decisions to make. Those decisions have an affect on your taxes. I promise that my vote will always be for the betterment of the residents of Grant County. I think it’s time for some new voices in our elected positions. and I am hoping that you will allow me to be one of the new voices that can and will speak on your behalf. Thank you for allowing me to introduce myself.

The other candidate running for this office is Chris Tarlton.

Channel 27 News reached out to Tarlton for this feature, but we did not receive a response from him.

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