Republicans Scott Wills and Chris Richardson have stepped down from their positions on the Elbert County Republican Party Central Committee to run for two seats on the Board of County Commissioners.
On Nov. 11, Wills stepped down as chairman of the Elbert County Republicans to announce his intention to seek the District 3 seat on the BOCC in the 2016 election, a post currently held by Larry Ross.
“I have been raising my right hand and volunteering for stuff since I was 18 years old and joined the Colorado Army National Guard,” Wills said. “Being a commissioner is just the next step in my lifelong desire to serve.”
Wills served as chairman for the Elbert County Republicans from 2008-15, and has held positions in other local governmental organizations, including his ongoing service on the Kiowa School Board.
Ross, whose first term runs through the end of 2016, said he is still deliberating his candidacy for re-election in November and had no comment regarding Wills’ decision to run.
“Our county government needs to establish trust with the citizens of Elbert County,” Wills said. “Our county government needs to establish trust with the great employees that we have in Elbert County. I will strive to work with the other commissioners, the elected officials, and the employees to be the best that we can be, creating a team with a goal of service to the citizens. Elbert County is a great place and we need a government to match.”
In November, Wills was re-elected to his second term on the Kiowa School Board and will continue to serve on that body.
“I love working on the school board, and I will continue doing it, no matter what my day job is,” he said.
Meanwhile, Richardson stepped down as secretary of the Elbert County Republican Central Committee at a special meeting to elect a new chairman and other open offices on Dec. 2. Richardson immediately announced his candidacy for the District 1 seat on the BOCC currently held by Robert Rowland, who has announced he will not seek re-election.
“I’m running because Elbert County is unique,” Richardson said. “We’ve got something very special here, and I think it’s worth working hard to keep. We deserve a well-led county government.”
Richardson outlined his vision for Elbert County government as one that appropriately serves the needs of citizens, ensures public safety while protecting private freedoms, and responsibly supports economic growth while protecting the resources and culture that make the county special.
“There has been a great deal of progress, especially in the past few years, but we seemed to have plateaued,” he said. “I believe change is necessary for us to move forward again. I’d like to be that change.”
Richardson, a retired Army officer, also has a long tenure of public service to Elbert County, including the role of secretary for the Elizabeth School Board. His term on the school board runs through November 2017, and he said if elected to the District 1 seat, he is committed to serving the final year of his four-year term since the two bodies are independent of one another.
Rowland attended the Dec. 2 GOP meeting and said he greatly respects Richardson, and that Richardson would do a good job as county commissioner if elected.
According to GOP Central Committee bylaws, Wills and Richardson were required to resign their positions as party officers before announcing their candidacy for public office.