Roseburg City Councilor Ashley Hicks has filed to run for Douglas County commissioner.
Hicks is the seventh candidate to file for the seat. It will be her second run for a seat on the commission. She was one of four candidates to run unsuccessfully against incumbent Tim Freeman in the May primary, where she garnered 6.67 percent of the vote in that election.
This time, there’s no incumbent in the race. Gary Leif vacated the seat after being appointed interim representative for state House District 2.
Hicks said her experience on the city council sets her apart from the other candidates, none of whom has held elected office. She doesn’t plan to mount a large fundraising campaign, unlike Waldron’s Outdoor Sports owner Tom Kress and Army veteran Alek Skarlatos, both of whom have amassed substantial contributions.
Instead, she plans to make phone calls and knock on doors, and stand outside of the post office and local stores in an effort to communicate with voters. She said she has experience attending a lot of meetings and communicating complex information to “regular Joes and Janes” in the community.
“It’s meeting people where they are and kind of trying to listen to them and let them tell you what their concerns are about their county, and what they’d like to see changed. And then just really representing that when you have a chance at the mic,” she said. “I think that’s a big thing.”
Hicks was elected to the Roseburg City Council in 2016 and represents Southeast Roseburg, including downtown. She was an organizer of the South Umpqua River Cleanup project.
She’s also owned two successful Roseburg businesses — Superior Drywall, which has been in operation since 2001, and a downtown coffee shop that she created and then sold.
Hicks said the issues she’s campaigning for this time are the same as the ones she supported last time around. Those included increasing multi-family housing, providing transitional housing and work for people leaving jail, and obtaining data about the health of the South Umpqua River.
She sees a seat on the board of commissioners as an extension of the work she’s already been doing as a city councilor and a volunteer.
“I want to be part of an effective team that’s working for the best interests of the citizens,” she said.
Hicks said she’s excited about the possibility of serving with Freeman because of the experience he has to share. Hicks has been positive about the job the current commissioners are doing, but also said she would be willing to speak up if she disagrees with them.
Hicks is the only woman to file for the commissioner seat so far, but she said gender doesn’t have that much to do with the job. However, she did say that she’d offer diversity in style because she’d provide a strong voice for the citizens because she’d be “brave enough to speak up when the time comes and the opportunity presents itself.”
Hicks is not discouraged by the results of the May election.
“Who wins a marathon their first go around the track? It takes a few warm-ups,” she said.
Whether she wins in November or not, she said she will continue moving forward on her efforts to improve Roseburg and Douglas County.
“I just want to see good things happen in our county,” Hicks said.