Beneke to challenge Novak
With the deadline to file for election to county commission approaching on Tuesday, another candidate has tossed his hat into the ring.
Mike Beneke, who last ran for county commissioner four years ago, when the county had three commissioners instead of five, will run against one of the same candidates he ran against then.
Beneke will challenge incumbent county commissioner Dianne Novak in the Republican primary.
“I’ve had four years to think about why I didn’t try harder four years ago,” Beneke said.
He said his biggest concern was how to continue county services as the county grapples with issues arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Some people are going to have to be willing to put their foot down and make common sense decisions for the future,” he said. “Popular or unpopular, the majority will still rule.”
Beneke said in watching commission meetings, it appeared to him that one of the commissioners would bring up an idea and the rest simply go along with it.
He hopes county residents will help commissioners come up with solutions instead of complaining.
“I’d like to see us focus on solutions,” he said. “I do handle a lot of money and hopefully can make good spending decisions.”
Different spending decisions need to be made on road and bridge work, he said.
“The total money spent on road and bridge is the biggest expenditure for the county,” Beneke said. “We need to get the most for that money. It may take doing some things differently than we have.”
Beneke said he wanted the campaign to be clean.
“I don’t want to start a negative campaign, and I hope the other side doesn’t either,” he said. “I guess we’ll know in August who the people want to represent District 2.”
Since the district he’s campaigning in will be different from the one he campaigned in four years ago, he’ll have to go out and meet people he’s never met before, Beneke said.
The deadline to register to vote in the primary election is July 14.
The primary election will be Aug. 4. The general election will be Nov. 3.