A former teacher and current author of children’s books has decided to run for political office.

On Monday, Bobbi Ann McPeak, 51, announced she is running against Democrat incumbent Clyde Kersey for the District 43 seat in the Indiana House of Representatives.

McPeak filed for office Friday on the Republican ticket. Kersey has occupied the District 43 seat since 1997.

“This is something that I’ve always wanted to do,” McPeak said. With both of her children in college, she now has more time and she also learned late last week that Ryan Cummins had decided not to run for the District 43 seat. Cummins, in his sixth year as a Terre Haute City councilman, confirmed he had considered running.

McPeak decided on Thursday to seek the office, the day before the filing deadline. “I just came out of the woodwork,” she said.

This is her first run for political office, although she has been a delegate to the Republican state convention and assisted with the gubernatorial campaign of Republican Rex Early several years ago.

She’s interested in the issues of education and jobs for young people. “I’d really like to help Indiana keep its young people here” and stop the “brain drain,” she said. “I’d like to be part of helping make more jobs become available to Indiana’s young people.”

Terre Haute’s four colleges and universities could be an important resource to help reverse that brain drain, she said. “I believe we can think of innovative ways to do that.”

Kersey said he has 10 years of experience representing District 43. “I think I have a pretty good feel for my constituents, especially in terms of education, labor and senior citizen issues. I think I have a pretty good record on those three issues,” he said.

He has served on the House Ways and Means Committee for 10 years. Kersey is a retired teacher and previously served on the Vigo County Council.

While running against the 10-year legislative veteran might be a challenge for the political newcomer, McPeak said, “I think a fresh face in the Legislature is always good.”

McPeak has taught high school and middle school; formerly owned the Children’s Book Center at Seventh Street and Springhill Road; and was a public relations officer for Terre Haute First National Bank. She currently operates the Wee Press, a publisher of children’s books.

She also is a motivational speaker about literacy/book writing and illustrating.

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

Filings for Wabash Valley state representatives and senators:

State Senate

District 38

— Democrat incumbent Tim Skinner.

District 39

— Republican incumbent John Waterman.

— Democratic challenger Steven M. Thais.

State Representatives

District 42

— Democrat incumbent F. Dale Grubb.

— Republican challenger Jeffrey McCoy.

District 43

— Democrat incumbent Clyde Kersey.

— Republican challenger Bobbi Ann McPeak.

District 44

— Incumbent Republican Andrew P. Thomas.

District 45

— Incumbent Republican Bruce Borders.

— Democratic challenger Mike Bledsoe.

District 46

— Democrat incumbent Vern Tincher.

— Republican challenger Reid Dallas.