Over the past eight days, The Herald Bulletin has published endorsements of candidates in key contested races on Tuesday’s general election ballot in Madison County. Here is a roundup of the endorsements, which can be found at www.theheraldbulletin/opinion.

President

President Barack Obama’s strong stand on issues that affect America’s poor and middle class will be better for the country, as a whole, than the wealthy-centric programs espoused by Mitt Romney.

Governor

John Gregg’s experience in statehouse leadership, education and business makes him well-suited to take on responsibilities as the state’s top executive. Opponent Mike Pence has taken stances in Congress that are detrimental to Indiana, such as his refusal to seek earmarked money for the Hoosier state.

U.S. Senator

Joe Donnelly is more moderate than opponent Richard Mourdock and is therefore more likely to be an effective representative of Indiana in the U.S. Senate.

Congress

Scott Reske, a Pendleton resident, will be more responsive to Madison County’s needs than Indiana 5th Congressional District opponents Susan Brooks and Chard Reid.

State Representative

Incumbent Terri Austin, District 36, is better informed and her policies contain the nuances marking good government, compared to the sweeping rhetoric of challenger Jim Lycan. In District 35, newcomer Melanie Wright offers a fresh perspective and important inside knowledge of the educational system. Incumbent Jack Lutz has served capably, but Wright offers the advantage of having few political entanglements.

Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction

Tony Bennett is despised by teachers’ unions but has managed to push through needed reform in the state’s educational system. He gets the nod, over Glenda Ritz, for another term.

School Boards

Tim Long is committed to improving education in Anderson Community Schools, but challenger Virginia Chapman’s knowledge of the classroom is the best fit for this board. In the lone contested race for the South Madison school board, incumbent Amy McGinnis has been an energetic proponent of good education, while challenger Larry Higgins has been less active.

County Commissioner

Incumbents John Richwine and Jeff Hardin, combined with Steffanie Owens, make a good team. Challengers Daniel Ferris, Steve Sumner and Tom McCarty offer alternatives worth considering, but the endorsement goes to the proven commissioners.

County Council

The election of challengers Tamie Dixon-Tatum and Lisa Hobbs would rein in the council majority, which has run roughshod over all opposition. Incumbent Mike Phipps has been partially to blame for the abuse of power, but if he becomes just another council member — instead of president — he can go back to being an effective public servant.

County Auditor

Either candidate here — Jane Lyons or Linda Smith — would likely do a fine job. Smith, who does not currently work in the auditor’s office, would be more apt to add a new perspective and find new improvements. For that reason, she gets The Herald Bulletin’s endorsement.