Cass County Councilwoman Stacey Donato was elected by a caucus Monday night to fill Indiana Sen. Randy Head’s seat.

Head resigned to become chief deputy prosecutor for Pulaski County. He endorsed Donato as she faced off against five other candidates for the vacancy, citing her experience in business, government and community involvement.

The Indiana Republican Party held the special caucus at the Miami County Fairgrounds Monday night, where all candidates were given three minutes to make their case to the 82 precinct committeemen. The precinct committeemen cast secret ballots, which were tallied by two tellers designated by the GOP state chairman. Each candidate designated one person to serve as a watcher on the candidate’s behalf during the count.

Candidates had to receive 50% plus one vote to win. If no candidate received a majority vote on the first ballot, the person with the lowest number of votes dropped out, and the process continued until a candidate received the required majority vote.

“The caucus took five votes, so that was pretty stressful,”?Donato said Tuesday after her win.

Donato said her first step is to resign her position from the county council.

“There’s people telling me that I’ll be in office by the 17th and then they’re going to do training,” Donato said.

She promised to be trained to the job “as best as I can and as quickly as I can,” and thanked the voters for their support.

Donato will finish out Head’s term, which expires Dec. 31, 2020. If she wants to continue serving beyond that, she will have to run for re-election.