Dan Loomis, an Army veteran and former Douglas County commissioner candidate, is the first person to file to run for Douglas County clerk in 2020.
Patricia Hitt recently announced she would step down from her post in September. The Douglas County commissioners plan to appoint an interim replacement who will serve until the winner of the 2020 election takes office.
Loomis said he has also applied for the interim post. The clerk’s job isn’t the most popular, he said, but it is one of the most important. The clerk oversees county elections and vital records.
“I just want to serve the county. I want to ensure the election integrity. I want to make sure that it’s easier than ever for people to create and access records at the clerk’s office,” Loomis said.
Loomis ran for Douglas County commissioner in 2018, but dropped out of the race and endorsed Tom Kress, who went on to win the seat.
Loomis, an Umpqua resident, currently serves on the Douglas County Parks Advisory Board and is chairman of the Douglas County Veterans Service Office Advisory Committee.
He is employed as a workforce development manager at Umpqua Economic Development Partnership.
“Last year, when I ran for commissioner, of course the one issue that seems to be most important to everyone for the county was economic development. So I actually put my words to work and actually joined an organization that’s working in economic development,” Loomis said.
He said he thinks it will take someone with grit to handle the clerk position.
Loomis is an Army combat veteran who served as an aircraft mechanic and rose through the ranks to become a chief warrant officer. He has also been a government aircraft accident investigator.
“The career field I was in in the military, it was required to be a jack of all trades and be able to accomplish anything that was put in front of you, and so I figure this is a tough job that needs somebody that’s willing to go the extra mile to get it done,” Loomis said.
He said he thinks the county clerk position would be a good challenge.
“The Army’s put me through a lot of leadership training and a lot of trial by fire, and I’ve come out OK. I think I can handle this one too,” he said.
He said he feels the biggest challenges ahead for the next clerk involve working with limited resources.
“There are only seven people in the office, and they handle elections and they have to ramp up for that and work a lot of extra hours,” he said.
With primary elections in May 2020 and a general election in November 2020, if appointed he would need to put his nose to the grindstone and learn as much as possible in a short amount of time, he said.
Loomis didn’t rule out a future run for county commissioner. The current commissioners are all in office until 2022, so that’s a ways out.
“I’ll cross that bridge when it happens,” Loomis said. “I might find more satisfaction in the clerk’s office, I don’t know.”
Loomis is a 1985 Roseburg High School graduate and has earned associate degrees in automotive technology, aviation maintenance and general studies.