With 99 percent of the Lincoln County votes cast, I have won a fifth term as commissioner by a 55-45 percent margin.
I am gratified and humbled by the outcome of my election for so many reasons. I have never taken for granted the trust you, the people of Lincoln County, have placed in me – and I never will.
This past year, I’ve had to make more difficult and controversial decisions than in my prior fifteen years of service combined. Anyone who has been doing a job like this will make enemies as well as friends. I always try to listen to all sides and seek the greatest good for the greatest number of people, but inevitably, not everyone will see that.
Those of you who know me well know I have a great passion for history. I think it’s essential for leaders to study history to understand the successes and failures of the past and to understand the context of the challenges we are facing in the present day.
My re-election places me in an elite club. Lincoln County was established in 1893. In the 127 years we’ve been a county, only three people have been elected to the position of commissioner five times—Mike Miller (1955-1975), Don Lindly (1991-2012) and now me.
Mike Miller’s service was before my time here, but I have a sense of why he was a respected leader who won the public’s endorsement multiple times. I was a reporter covering county government when Don Lindly was elected and served alongside him for more than seven years. He was one of several role models I have tried to emulate.
There’s been a lot of changes in Lincoln County since I moved here 34 years ago and since I began my elected service to you 16 years ago. There have been a lot of changes in my own life in these past couple of years. This has been the most challenging year of my career, but of far greater significance is that it’s been the hardest year Lincoln County has seen.
Despite the hardships of COVID-19 and wildfire, we have endured as individuals and as a community. We have endured, and soon we will thrive again. I am refreshed, re-energized, and recommitted to continuing the important work ahead in serving the place and the people I love.