Rowe unseats incumbent Roberts
by Jennifer Cohron
Jun 04, 2014 | 3221 views | 0 0 comments | 43 43 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Jasper Police Chief Connie Cooner Rowe hugs supporter Kellie Adkins while Margie Bookout looks on following Rowe’s win over incumbent Bill Roberts in the race for the District 13 seat in the Alabama House of Representatives. Daily Mountain Eagle - Ron Harris
Jasper Police Chief Connie Cooner Rowe hugs supporter Kellie Adkins while Margie Bookout looks on following Rowe’s win over incumbent Bill Roberts in the race for the District 13 seat in the Alabama House of Representatives. Daily Mountain Eagle - Ron Harris
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In her first political campaign, Connie Cooner Rowe captured 54 percent of the vote in the Republican primary Tuesday to unseat incumbent Bill Roberts in the Alabama House of Representatives.

Rowe won the District 13 race in Walker County by more than 600 votes.

A strong showing by Roberts in Blount County cut that lead nearly in half.

All vote totals are unofficial.

“I think we can do more than what’s been done in the last four years in District 13 — more engaged with the community, more involved with people and more focused on our future,” Rowe said.

Rowe, who spent two decades as a criminal investigator in the Walker County District Attorney’s office and has served as the police chief in Jasper since 2011, said her experience in law enforcement will provide one piece of her legislative agenda.

She is particularly concerned about sentencing guidelines that went into effect in 2013 that keep nonviolent offenders out of prison.

“I think it’s a mistake. I think it’s a signal that crime and punishment are just not significant issues in Montgomery, and I think they should be,” Rowe said.

Rowe, who garnered widespread support among local educators during the campaign, promised to include their budget concerns in her priorities as well.

“I just hope she doesn’t forget that there are also some children who need to be represented in this process. They deserve to be treated equally even though they don’t vote,” Roberts said as the final numbers came in Tuesday night.

Rowe said although the final weeks of the campaign were difficult on her personally as well as on her family, she was determined to maintain her personal integrity.

“Tough times build character, and I am better for the experience. I know who I am even under great stress, and I feel good about that,” Rowe said.