When local Republican Party leaders went to Mary Crismore and asked if she would consider taking the District 1 county council seat previously held by her husband, she was overwhelmed.
There were feelings of sadness.
There were feelings of hesitation.
But there, too, were feelings of hope and pride.
“I just thought, ‘Wow,’ ” Crismore said from City Hall, 201 Vigo St., Wednesday evening. “I thought, ‘I can’t possibly do the job Randy did. He was so knowledgeable.’
“But then I felt honored that they would even consider me,” she went on, a smile slowly spreading across her face. “And I know it’s something Randy would probably want me to do, to step in. So I talked to my girls, and they thought it would be good, too.”
And now she’s determined to serve not just Randy but the community he loved as well. The two talked often of county business over the years, she said, so she’s ready to step up and serve.
She, too, will be the only woman on the county council.
“Randy shared a lot,” Crismore said. “We talked about the issues.
“I had my opinions and of course he had his,” she said with a chuckle. “I’d like to think I can represent the district well. I know can do the job.”
Crismore, a long-time employee of the Vincennes Sun-Commercial until her retirement last fall, was the only person to file to seek the District 1 seat — which was left empty following Randy Crismore’s sudden death last month — after Republican Party leaders announced that they would caucus and vote on a replacement.
They waited the necessary amount of time to see if anyone else threw their hat into the ring, but the deadline came and went with Crismore being the only candidate.
And that was perfectly fine with them.
“We are just fortunate to have a qualified candidate apply for a very unfortunate vacancy in office right now,” said Republican Party vice-chair David Shelton. “There is nobody more qualified or dedicated to carrying on the legacy of Randy Crismore than his wife.
“We are fortunate she has agreed to take on the endeavor, and we’re looking forward to working with her in the future,” he said.
Republican Party chair Linda Painter, too, said she had every confidence that Crismore would serve District 1 well.
As such, she called upon the five precinct committeemen gathered at City Hall to cast their votes, and all of them happily offered “yay” in Crismore’s favor.
“It’s unanimous,” Painter declared with a smile.
“You’ve been by his side this entire time,” she went on to tell Crismore. “You’ve seen ten years worth of work.
“You have a good feel for what they do.”
Randy Crismore retired after 33 years on the Vincennes Police Department then, in 2010, ran for and won the District 1 seat. His most recent term is set to expire at the end of 2022.
Crismore also worked at the Knox County Public Library.