Former Jefferson County Commissioner Julie Berry will attempt to unseat first-term Indiana state Sen. Jim Smith in 2014.

Berry, a Democrat who served three terms as the first female Jefferson County commissioner, announced her candidacy Wednesday.

"I have been approached by Republicans, Democrats and Independents throughout southeastern Indiana asking me to consider running for this position. I have decided to go forward based on these conversations and bring with me the experience gained from serving locally and statewide," Berry said in a news release.

The 45th district includes all of Jefferson, Scott and Switzerland counties, as well as portions of Clark and Jackson counties. Smith, a Republican from Charlestown, was elected in 2010.

If elected, Berry said her main focus would be jobs and education and continuing her "proven track record of working in a bi-partisan manner."

"I will bring my perspective as a mother, a local government official and a private sector business person to Indianapolis to represent the majority views of southeastern Indiana," she said in the news release.

Berry is a native of Hanover and graduate of Ball State University and the National Development Council Economic Development Professional Course Program.

She ended her 12-year tenure with the Jefferson County Board of Commissioners at the end of 2012 after deciding not to seek re-election.

Berry has served as president of the bi-partisan Indiana Association of County Commissioners and was named the 2011 Outstanding Indiana County Commissioner by the Association of Indiana Counties. Gov. Mitch Daniels also appointed her to the Indiana Courthouse Preservation Advisory Commission, where she served alongside retired Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Randall Shepard.

She was elected to chair the Region 9 Indiana Homeland Security District Plan Oversight Committee and has experience in workforce development, emergency management services and enhanced 911 services, the release said.

Berry has been married for 29 years to Pat Berry, and has two children.