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Sebastian County Election Commission OKs coordinator hiring

The Sebastian County Election Commission has selected a new election coordinator to replace its previous coordinator, who resigned following a series of ballot errors prior to the May 20 primary election.

Following a nearly hour long executive session Friday (May 23), Election Commission Chairman Lee Webb announced that the commission would hire Robert Cowan to serve as election coordinator, pending support of County Clerk Sharon Brooks, who was absent from Friday's meeting.

Cowan is a retired vice president of finance for Rheem Manufacturing and holds a bachelors degree in finance from Miami University of Ohio and an MBA in finance from the University of Tennessee.

In a memo to the commission, County Judge David Hudson said he and County Human Resources Director Steve Hotz recommended Cowan's hiring.

Former Election Coordinator David Mansell was only on the job for a few months before he resigned in March following mistakes that included the misspelling of U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin's last name on the Republican primary ballot, as well as getting the order of candidates wrong in the Republican race for lieutenant governor, which included Griffin, Rep. Andy Mayberry and Rep. Debra Hobbs.

Mansell was originally hired to replace retiring Election Coordinator Jerry Huff, who stayed on to assist with what turned out to be a rocky transition with Mansell. He subsequently lead the county through the May 20 primary following Mansell's resignation.

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Huff said Friday he would be leaving his job with the county before the June 10 runoff for Republican attorney general.

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