John Etheredge is the only Republican to serve on the Johnson County Board of Supervisors in the past 50 years, but partisan politics will not be a point of emphasis for him in his re-election campaign.
“I ran on being nonpolitical and I plan on keeping my word,” he said of his successful campaign last year.
Etheredge was elected to serve the final two years of a vacated seat, and on Tuesday he announced he would seek re-election and a full four-year term.
Etheredge, 29, cited road maintenance and increasing efficiencies as two of his biggest priorities.
On the former, he wants to explore whether the county could make some of its roads into arterials to increase traffic on them while lowering it on other roads, thereby reducing maintenance needs.
As for efficiencies, Etheredge said the county uses a lot of space and spends a lot of money on storage of records. He has worked with the county auditor and local legislators to bring a bill before state lawmakers that would allow county commissioners of elections to keep voter registration documents electronically.
Etheredge’s election last year caught some people off guard, including Democrats in a county where they have more than double the number of registered voters than Republicans. A Republican had not sat on the Johnson County Board of Supervisors since 1962.
Etheredge said having different points of view, whether political or otherwise, are good for a decision-making body, but he doesn’t believe partisan politics has a place on the board.
“My whole thing is, I want to represent the people of Johnson County and keep politics out of our daily workflow,” he said.
He will have to overcome Democrats to get re-elected, however. Two of the supervisors five seats are up for election – the ones held by Etheredge and Janelle Rettig – and three Democrats have announced they are running.
First comes the June 3 party primary election. The candidates selected by voters in their parties will move on to the November general election.
The filing period runs through March 26.Etheredge and his wife, Debbie, live at 209 N. Huskins St. in Lone Tree.