Bob Conley wins tight Kosciusko County Commissioner race

Left to right: Bob Conley, DeLynn Geiger

Bob Conley, Kosciusko County Southern District commissioner, defeated challenger DeLynn Geiger in Tuesday’s Republican primary election.

Conley had 5,904 votes (52.3 percent) to outdistance Geiger’s 5,290 (47.7 percent).

As early returns came in, Geiger had a close lead, but Conley came back to win by a fairly narrow margin.

“I’m a firm believer that if you give the people the truth and the facts, that they’ll make the right decision,” Conley said while at the Republican Headquarters in downtown Warsaw Tuesday night.

During the campaign, Conley pointed out that he and the other two commissioners make a good team.

“We get things done for the people and that’s what we’re there for,” he said.

He has faced four challengers in each of his primary races, but said this contest was tougher than the previous three.

“Mr. Geiger is a formidable candidate and a good man,” Conley said.

“There’s so much more at stake. There were a lot of other races that could change the complexion of county government. So stability in the commissioner’s office will go a long way toward keeping the community safe and on track with economic development.

Conley said he felt the difference in the race came down to his position being quite a bit different than Geiger’s on social programs.

“In any race, there’s consequences. When you have someone with an agenda to use tax money or other revenue available to them to implement social programs in government, that creates real issues among the voters,” said Conley. “Social issues are a personal matter, not something for the government to get involved with. My opponent said openly in the question-and-answer session that he was willing to do that; to use grant money and other revenues to assure a quality of life for people in the community.”
“That quality of life issue resonates with people in the fact that it’s their choice, not government’s place, to make those decisions. He was willing to use tax money to implement that kind of a program, and the people just were against that.”

In conceding Geiger said he was thankful for the chance to meet a lot of people during the campaign.

“I want to thank all the voters who came out and voted, especially those who voted for me. I appreciate their support. It was a good experience. And congratulations to my opponent,” Geiger said.

“I got to meet a lot of people in the county, and I just came up short. I guess it just wasn’t meant to be. I tried to take the high road all the way through this whole campaign process, and tried not to get into any of that trashy stuff. I just left that alone,” he said.

Geiger wasn’t sure if he’d consider running elective office again at some point.

“I’ll let time take its course there. That’s a hard question to answer after you’ve worked so hard in the campaign process and to come that close,” he said.

Conley will run unopposed in November’s general election, unless a Democratic candidate emerges and enters the race before the deadline in early July.