Douglas hard on incumbents
For all the talk of good ole boys on the Douglas County Board of Commissioners, the reality is that Douglas voters aren’t particularly kind to incumbents.
Only three people have term-limited out on the board of commissioners and there are several seats where a commissioner was only elected for a single term.
Commissioner John Engels is the fifth person to hold the District 2 seat in 15 years. Four people have held the District 1 seat since 2003, which is an average of just over four years each.
Sheriff Jerry Maple, one of Douglas County’s longest-serving elected officials and a keen observer of county politics, pointed out that every four years he had to campaign to a different set of voters. Maple won his first race in 1978 with 4,033 votes. By 1994, he won with 10,411 votes.
By our count, 25 different people have served on the five-member Board of County Commissioners over the past 30 years, three of whom served a full three terms.
Because county commissioner is a partisan office, and there are more active Republicans registered to vote in the county than every other party combined, those races will essentially be resolved in the primary election. We know there’s a Libertarian running in District 3, and if he wins that race in November it will be the mother of all upsets.
Incumbent Larry Walsh lost his seat on Tuesday, and it will be a little while before we learn what happens with the other incumbent commissioner, Dave Nelson.