STILLWATER — Ruth Stover's desired office is a six-foot walk across the hall from her current one as the Payne County purchasing agent.
In her 10 years as purchasing agent, Stover has worked with two county clerks and five different county commissioners, and she said she hopes she can be next in line for the District 2 county commissioner spot.
Her opponent in the primary race, which will decide the winner because no Democrat is running, is Chris Reding, 50.
Reding said he wants to breathe some new life into the position of county commissioner by partnering with Oklahoma State University to reinvigorate development in Stillwater.
The District 2 commissioner, currently Democrat Gloria Hesser, acts as the chairman of the board of county commissioners.
As county commissioner, either Stover or Reding will be responsible for maintaining and constructing the county roads and bridges, while also working with other districts when entering into contracts or other agreements affecting the county's welfare.
Stover, 50, said she has gleaned a lot while working in proximity with the current county commissioners.
“I've received worlds of knowledge while working with District 1, District 2 and District 3,” she said. “They all meet here on Monday mornings, and really I'm an adjunct secretary to all three of them because they work closely with my position.”
Stover, who spent 11 years as a teacher in Cleveland before moving back to her hometown of Stillwater, said she thinks she would fit the job well because of her desire to serve her community.
“I've been a public servant my entire life,” she said.
“I didn't think when I quit teaching that I would find something that gave as much satisfaction, but this job has. I've really grown into it. I have a depth of knowledge that the other candidate does not have, and I think it would be an easy transition for me.”
Stover said a few of her goals include selling the old detention center, which is used as a storage facility, and use the money from the sale to pay down the city's bonds. She'd also like to encourage exploration into more green alternatives and waste recycling programs.