The former owner of the Mark V Grill and Bar in Roseburg filed Wednesday to run for Douglas County commissioner.
Retired restaurateur and silversmith Mark Vincent, 66, of Roseburg is the fourth candidate to file for the seat now held by Commissioner Joe Laurance.
Vincent declined to answer questions this morning about his run for the commission. He said he does not want to discuss his campaign until after Christmas, but that he will make a formal statement after New Year’s Day.
“This is the holidays. This is the time for everybody to enjoy Christmas and the New Year,” he said. “What I’ve learned about this county is they take this time of year very seriously.”
Laurance has announced he will not run for re-election in 2014. Other candidates for the nonpartisan position include Republican state Rep. Tim Freeman of Roseburg, court bailiff Dale Rogers and retired Oregon state trooper Monte Smith.
Vincent has never held a political office. He ran unsuccessfully for the Douglas Soil and Water District Board in 2002.
He had been a restaurateur since 1980 and opened the Mark V downtown eight years ago. He retired and closed his restaurant in August.
He said his sons, Jared and Sean Vincent, are scouting for a new place to open a Roseburg restaurant.
“They’re looking at a couple of very nice spots,” Vincent said.
The Vincents had planned to open a larger restaurant in the 700 block of Southeast Jackson Street, but Vincent said renovation costs, especially for a sprinkler system, were too high.
Vincent graduated from San Bernardino Valley College in 1967 and served in the U.S. Navy from 1967 to 1971.
He said he moved from Southern California to Douglas County 40 years ago after a vacation spent along the North Umpqua River. After returning home to smog, he said he decided he to live here.
Vincent is also a silversmith who specializes in creating jewelry in Pueblo, Navajo, Zuni and Hopi styles and sells his pieces through the online store Stone Silver Art.
The position of county commissioner pays $75,940 a year.
• You can reach reporter Carisa Cegavske at 541-957-4213 or firstname.lastname@example.org.