Nancy Michael, D-Greencastle, bested incumbent Amos Thomas, R-Brazil for the District 44 State Representative seat.
"Before I came here, I was so at peace with the race and with how things had gone," she said Tuesday night after the Putnam County results were announced at the Putnam County Courthouse. "I'm overwhelmed and very grateful."
Michael won all the areas in District 44, including Thomas' home county, Clay. She took 50.14 percent of the votes in Putnam County and 50.08 percent of the votes in Clay County.
Also in the race was Libertarian Darrell Goldman, who took 3.31 percent of the votes in Putnam County and 2.71 percent of the votes in Clay County.
Michael grew up on a dairy farm in northern Putnam County near Roachdale. She graduated from North Putnam High School and went on to earn bachelor's degrees in business management and administration from Indiana University.
Michael was mayor of Greencastle from January 1996 to Dec. 31, 2007. Prior to that, she represented Greencastle Township on the Putnam County Council from 1991 to 1995 and served as clerk of the Putnam County Circuit Court from 1987 to 1990.
"I've been in public service for 21 years," Michael said. "This was a campaign I wanted to run in because it was a place I felt I needed to be."
Because she was such a familiar face in Putnam County, Michael made it a point to do a good deal of campaigning in the other areas of District 44.
"I went all over Parke, Vigo and Clay counties, making sure people knew about my background, my qualifications and what I stood for," she said.
Still, she admitted winning Putnam County was special to her.
"It's my home," she said simply. "It's the place I've lived all my life. I'm flattered and honored to have the faith and support of the people here."
Michael worked as a licensed agent and customer service representative from 1993 to 1995, and she is presently employed in the customer service field. Her past experience also includes time as a payroll clerk for the Indiana Department of Corrections and a payroll and purchasing clerk for the Indiana State Auditor.
Michael is a member of Greencastle Christian Church and the Rotary Club of Greencastle. She and her husband Syeve have two children, Peter and Mary.