The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Local Politics

May 6, 2014

Owens gets GOP nod for county commissioner

ANDERSON, Ind. — Steffanie Owens won the Republican Party nomination Tuesday in the primary and will run in November's general election for a second term as Madison County commissioner.

Owens defeated John Smith, 4,241 votes to 2,104, according to unofficial election results.

"You never say you've won until the last vote is counted, and I'm looking favorably in that direction," Owens said shortly before the unofficial final results were tallied.

Owens will face Democrat Deena Watkins in November for the commissioner South District position.

"I will go into it with honesty and integrity, trust and faith like I always have done and I will always do," she said. "I'm not a politician; I am a public servant. I do try to do the best I can for everybody."

Smith, who described himself as the more conservative of the two candidates, said he decided to seek the nomination after being approached by several people. It was also a way to give his children a first-hand look at politics.

"A turf war is going on," for control of the Republican Party, and "there's a groundswell of folks out there who want to try something different," Smith said.

Despite those philosophical differences, Smith said he called Russ Willis, chairman of the Madison County Republican Party, early on Tuesday and pledged his support for the party nominee.

"I'll vote Republican in this ballot, and I'll vote Republican on the November ballot," Smith said.

Owens said her goals if elected to a second four-year term will be to replace the Eisenhower Bridge in downtown Anderson, improve the county's infrastructure and economic development.

Like Stu Hirsch on Facebook and follow him @stuhirsch on Twitter, or call 640-4861.

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