Kirk White, currently the assistant Vice President at Indiana University, has a long history of public service in Monroe County. In 1995, he ran for mayor against John Fernandez, using a strategy of recruiting Republican college students. Although losing by a 51-46% margin, he later served on the Bloomington City Council and then on Monroe County Commission from 1997-2000. He was appointed to the Monroe County Economic Development Commission in 2011.
A Republican, Kirk White was generally noted for a tone of civility in public discourse and for being able to work well with Democratic majorities. He eventually left public office to concentrate on his day job and family.