OAKLAND CITY, Ind. (WEHT) – A resolution is made after an Oakland City Council race ended in a tie during the May primary. The Gibson County Republican Party held a special meeting to select a nominee for the November general election.
“This is an incredible real-life example of how much every vote matters,” says Gibson County Republican Chairman John Perkins.
What happens when a race for elected office ends in a tie? It’s an occurrence so rare, even Perkins himself wasn’t sure.
“I actually talked to the Secretary of State about that,” explains Perkins. “He said, ‘It happens. It’s rare’. So, you know, there’s times I really enjoy being the chair, and there’s times where, you know, it gets a little more difficult. And this was one of those times.”
The two candidates, Kaye Gowin and Bethany Brewer, each received 23 votes in the primary election for the Republican nomination for Oakland City Council’s district 4 seat. Gowin and brewer each had equal time to tell voters and the appointment committee why they should be on the November ballot.
“I believe it is my responsibility to be involved in the systems and processes that induce change,” says Brewer, who spoke via video message due to being out of town for a graduation ceremony.
“I am a loyal Republican,” says Gowin, “I am fiscally responsible and will not waste the tax payers’ hard-earned money.”
After a brief recess, the decision was made by Perkins to appoint Brewer as the Republican nominee, a decision he says was not easy.
“We are looking for people who are going to bring that energy and are going to bring that expertise within the preview that they sit,” explains Perkins. “I wanted to make sure that we had people who were elected, at least by this community, come out so they could express their voice and their opinion.”
Gowin told those in attendance she was thankful for the opportunity to express her desire to serve the residents of Oakland City. Speaking with Eyewitness News after the caucus, Gowin says she does not plan on pursuing public office again in the future.
Brewer sent the following statement to Eyewitness News following her appointment:
“I would like to thank God, my husband Josh, and our three children, and my church family at Greater Grace Apostolic Church for believing in me throughout this process. I am so honored to be the Republican Candidate for District 4 City Council, and I’m looking forward to running in the election, and hopefully leading Oakland City forward with our council. I would also like to thank John Perkins for trusting me in this council race, Mayor James Deffendall, and the other Republican leaders who serve our county with excellence. I believe we are entering into a new chapter in both our county’s and our city’s history and I’m grateful to be a part.“