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Lauderdale officially announces run for Island County commissioner
Charging that Island County government needs a "course correction," Robert "Jeff" Lauderdale officially announced Saturday that he will be running as a Republican candidate in the 2012 race to represent District 1 on the board of county commissioners.
Lauderdale made his announcement at the Central Whidbey Republican Women's annual summer barbecue at Smugglers Cove on Aug. 13.
“Island County is a wonderful place to live and with that comes the huge responsibility of good stewardship," Lauderdale said in his announcement.
"We have a remarkable environment to protect, roads to build and maintain, laws to enforce, public health to ensure, and justice to render. At the same time however, we are at a point in history where we need to cut back the cost of government. Difficult local decisions are coming down the road and logic and science must be applied to all of the challenges."
“This election will be about a course correction for county government," Lauderdale continued. "We need to recognize that for every dollar spent by government, there is a dollar received in revenue from taxes, fees, etc. We need to realize that every dollar spent on the environment using inconclusive and/or erroneous information is a dollar we no longer have available to effectively protect it.”
Lauderdale, 60, is a Coupeville resident. He retired to Whidbey Island in 2006.
The announcement was not unexpected.
Lauderdale registered as a candidate in the race with the state Public Disclosure Commission on July 19. His campaign has raised $1,000 since early July; half of that amount coming from a personal loan Lauderdale made to his campaign for next year's primary.
Lauderdale is the first candidate to announce a run for a county seat in the 2012 Election.
Debbie Cunningham, Lauderdale's campaign manager, said his announcement was greeted by an enthusiastic crowd of supporters at this weekend's event.
District 1 starts near the southern end of the greater Oak Harbor area and includes Central Whidbey and the entire South End.
The incumbent in the race, Commissioner Helen Price Johnson, has not declared if she will seek a second term.
Price Johnson, a Democrat, is a former South Whidbey School Board member and the first woman elected to the board of commissioners in Island County.
The three-member board of commissioners currently has two Democrats — Price Johnson and Angie Homola — and one Republican, Kelly Emerson of Camano Island.