News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Elections 2011

November 9, 2011

No Knew City Council seat — Auler tallies victory

TERRE HAUTE — Amy Auler anxiously darted from room to room at her parents’ home as family, friends and co-workers monitored television, Internet and smart phones for election results.

Initially, results were a little too close for comfort in her bid for the Terre Haute City Council District 1 seat. Auler, a Democrat, ran against Republican Chris Knew, and both were seeking political office for the first time.

Soon after the polls closed, when Auler learned she had won, she jumped up and down and shouted out joyfully, hugging those around her.

“We did it,” said her father, Larry, a former two-term city councilman who worked on his daughter’s campaign. He and Amy hugged and got a little teary-eyed. “I get emotional,” he said.

Later in the evening, the final, unofficial vote tally showed she had defeated Knew, 837 to 734. Results are unofficial until certified by the Vigo County Election Board on Nov. 18.

Reacting to her victory, Amy Auler said, “I’m just excited. I want to thank my family and friends. They’re my supporters and my helpers.”

The results were “closer than I’d like,” she said. She received 53 percent of the vote.

She unseated incumbent Rich Dunkin in the primary.

Auler, 39, a deputy assessor in the Harrison Township Assessor’s office, said she’d thought about running for office for a long time. “It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. I love working with people,” she said.

Her goal is to represent citizens and be a voice for them, she said.

Her father, Larry, said he was happier with her victory than he was for his own successful elections. “She’ll have a good teacher,” he teased.

Amy Auler’s mother, Dorothy, also was elated. “It’s something [Amy’s] always wanted to do. She’s been involved in politics all her life. She loves it,” Dorothy said. She also worked on her daughter’s campaign.

 Knew, 29, said he campaigned hard and went door-to-door to talk with voters in District 1.

“It was a close race,” he said. “We tried our best … I feel I did pretty well.” He’s not ruling out a future run for political office.

Sue Loughlin can be reached at (812) 231-4235 or sue.loughlin@tribstar.com.

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