Kay Harrison, a Central Point City Council member for the past 10 years, will take on two Republican challengers for the Jackson County commissioner seat now held by Dave Gilmour.
The 57-year-old mother of five will be running against Medford resident Craig Prewitt and Central Point resident John Rachor in the Republican primary on May 18.
Medford resident Buck Eichler and Jacksonville resident Mark Wisnovsky are challengers for the Democratic ticket.
Harrison said she decided to run to create a more business- and job-friendly environment in Jackson County.
Four of her five children are living elsewhere after going through Central Point schools.
She said the county needs to do more to encourage families to remain here by providing a good employment base.
"My hope is if they come back here, they will come back to the very best community they can possibly find," Harrison said.
Harrison said she is encouraged that three Republicans are running for Gilmour's seat.
"It's really important to give the people of our county a choice, a really good choice," she said.
Harrison said she is a customer service representative with Sabroso and isn't sure whether she will give up her job if she lands the $86,000-a-year commissioner post. "Doc Gilmour didn't quit being a doctor," she said.
During his last election, Gilmour's part-time status became a campaign issue.
Harrison said other issues that are important to her are land-use decisions and the regional problem-solving issue that cities and the county have worked on to develop a plan for a doubling of the county's population by 2050.
In general, Harrison thinks the county is in a far better financial position than it was three years ago when county libraries were temporarily shut down.
As the county continues to improve financially, she said it should look at opening libraries for more hours.
Reach reporter Damian Mann at 776-4476, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.