Friday, November 7, 2014

Schoen retains seat on County Commission

Challenger John David Davidson wins race for treasurer


     County Commission candidate Randy Patterson said Thursday he is happily back in the chair as Carey’s mayor, looking forward to the simple pleasures of the job, such as working with the Heritage Court and officiating the wedding of his city clerk’s daughter this summer.

     Incumbent Larry Schoen, a Democrat, defeated Patterson 4,188 votes to 2,740 votes in the election to represent the county’s First District on the three-person commission.

     “I did really well in the district here … and I feel we ran a really good campaign,” Patterson said. “It was a good campaign on both our parts. We talked about issues and stayed out of dirty politics. I wish him well.”

     Running on a theme of fiscal responsibility, Patterson, a Republican, challenged Schoen for a four-year term. Patterson runs an online organic supplements business and is serving his second term as Carey mayor.

     To lose to Schoen “was a disappointment, sure, but I think it did send a message to him that people are watching,” Patterson said. “I think it’s going to make a difference. I was humbled by the votes I got down here and I appreciated their support, I am not sure if I will continue to pursue bigger opportunities (he previously ran for the state Senate). For now, I’m going to show my appreciation to this district and give back as mayor. I really, really enjoy the job.”

     Schoen, a south county grain and hay farmer, is now serving his eighth year on the County Commission. His tenure continued unabated this week, with Thursday morning finding him engrossed in an interview process for the county’s new magistrate judge. He provided this comment between sessions.

     “I serve the people of this county and I appreciate that they have re-elected me for a fourth term and I encourage people to contact me any time on any issue,” Schoen said.


County treasurer

     The winner in the election for Blaine County treasurer, John David Davidson, was crafting an email Thursday morning to the sitting treasurer, Vicki Heuett, with his ideas for how to transition into the role Heuett has held since 1993.

     Davidson, a Democrat, defeated Heuett, a Republican, in a close contest. The vote tally was 3,482 to 3,374.

     “What I’d like to do is job shadow and help her in the transition by learning how to do the day-to-day operations,” Davidson said. “I want to meet with the staff to see firsthand some of the issues and problems they have had and find ways to make things more streamlined for them.”

     He also will be taking some mandated courses for the job and meeting with the county commissioners.

     Heuett leaned on her tenure and reputation as a good manager during her campaign. She did not return a call Thursday asking for comment on the election and her plans for the future.

     Part of the treasurer’s job is to invest county funds that are not immediately needed to pay bills. Davidson maintained during his run for the office that it was difficult for the public and even the commissioners to get a clear statement of the county’s investments. He promised a transparent process.

     “I plan to amend the investment policy and evaluate the objective for a portfolio that can be easily accessed and understood by the public and have it online,” he said. “I believe it is not being addressed under the current system.”

     Davidson said he is relieved the campaign is over so that he can get to the business at hand.

     “I hope I’m warmly received. It’s going to be a change for everyone and I think it’s going to go great.”

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