In the northern portion of Delaware County, voters in the County Commission District No. 1 will decide if David Poindexter, deputy commissioner, or Steve Rowe, challenger, will complete the remaining months on the term left vacant after Doug Smith retired in December.

Poindexter has been acting commissioner for the district since Smith's retirement become official. Both men are both Republicans. 

Whoever wins this seat in February will need to file for a full-term in office later this year. That primary will take place in June, with the general election set for November.

For the commissioner's race, residents who are registered voters and who reside within District 1 are eligible to vote.

The precincts within District 1 include: 1- Grace Point UMC, Cleora, 2- Bernice Senior Citizens Center, Bernice, 3 - Monkey Island Fire Department, 4 - Hickory Grove Fire Department, 5 - St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, 6 - Cowskin Fire Department No. 1, 8 - Butler Baptist Church, 11 - Bible Baptist Church.

The candidates, as they appear on the ballot, are as follows:

Steve Rowe

Rowe (R-Grove), has lived and worked within Delaware County for 64-1/2 years. A life-long resident of Grove, he is married to Linda (Fink).

Together they have four children: Jonathan Rowe, a junior at Grove High School, Larry Rowe, Rick Rowe, Travis Fink and Tailor Mussatti.

Rowe, who is a third owner at Washboard Laundry and Shundi Storage, owns and operates Tri-State Recovery Wrecker Service.

His exposure to public service includes watching his father, the late Charles Rowe, serving for 16 years on the Grove City Council.

Rowe said his desire to serve, and help others prompted his filing for the commissioner seat.

"This is something I have wanted to do for several years, but I was not able to give the time that I feel like is required," Rowe said. "Now that I have managers for my businesses, I can dedicate my time to serve as your county commissioner.

"I believe the people need a choice to select a candidate instead of having one appointed. I feel like there is a need for change to improve our county government."

Rowe said he believes his 35 years of experience, which includes running four businesses and time within the Delaware County Sheriff's office, will be key to his time as commissioner.

"Serving as undersheriff, I understand the needs and responsibilities of that department," Rowe said. "I spent two years, working with a road company, building roads for the forest service in Arkansas. One of my strengths is in Public Relations, bringing people together to work as a team."

Rowe said he believes, after talking with district residents, the items of greatest concern involve securing adequate funding and approving budgets for the county departments, building and maintaining quality roads and bridges across the entire district, and dealing with problems and mismanagement of the solid waste department.

"I am honest, I have good work ethics and the ability to be a good leader," Rowe said. "I want the people of Delaware County to know that I will get up every morning and work for them. I will work for better roads and bridges, and to improve the quality of life in Delaware County."

For more information, persons interested may contact Rowe by phone at 918-633-0558. by email at lindalrowe.tsr@yahoo.com, on Facebook at steve.rowe1232 or at his office at Tri-State Recovery.

David Poindexter

David Poindexter, 40, is a life-long resident of the Grove area.

A 1996 graduate of Grove High School, Poindexter also attended Northeast Technology Center in Afton.

Since March 2011, he has served as deputy commissioner for District 1 and as its road foreman.

A fifth generation resident of Delaware County, Poindexter said he's watched as his parents have filled leadership roles within the county government and rural fire departments.

"They inspired me to carry on that kind of service to the community," Rowe said, adding he believes running for the county commissioner seat will give him an "opportunity to use my knowledge, skills and experience to help improve the county that I have lived in my entire life."

Poindexter has served as the deputy county commissioner / foreman for the past seven years.

He believes that service, as well as the knowledge he's gained serving on the Grove Emergency Medical Services Board of Directors; as well serving as the OCCED – Oklahoma Cooperative Circuit Engineering Board-Delaware Co. representative will serve as an asset in his role as commissioner.

"I’ve worked hard to develop the management skills needed to be successful in the private sector as well as state/local government," Poindexter said. "My job experience has given me keen insight into what drives the economy in Delaware County. I am energetic, eager and willing to explore new and fresh ideas and long range solutions to our challenges.

He believes the county budget, the county's jail and the population growth within the county are the top three issues facing the commissioners.

"We need to work on long range solutions to meet the needs of the county in areas of infrastructure, public safety, sheriff’s department, fire, emergency management and solid waste services," Poindexter said. "I will be actively involved in economic development efforts in our community so Delaware County can continue to attract new businesses and better jobs that pay a living wage and aren’t just seasonal or part-time jobs related to tourism.

"I will always work to assist existing businesses to keep their doors open and grow their businesses."

Poindexter said he's grateful to live in Delaware County.

"I’ve had great parents, teachers and elders that have mentored me as I grew up and began my career, and I want to honor them and the valuable experience they shared with me," Poindexter said. "I pledge to the people of Delaware County I will continue to work hard for you, draw on every ounce of common sense, education and business experience that I’ve gained over the years to make sound decisions in the best use of your tax dollars, and to protect your hard-earned investment in Delaware County.

"This means 'no frills/no favors,' just fair and disciplined stewardship of your tax dollars, with the safety and best interest of our citizens always as my highest priority. My goal would be to give it all I’ve got and, at the end of the day, I’d like to be remembered as a man who could be counted on to do the right thing, even when it was hard.

For more information, persons interested may contact Poindexter at the District 1 county barn: 918-786-9774, by mail at Friends for David Poindexter at 60400 East 250 Road, Grove; or through Facebook at david.poindexter.5.