Gila County Supervisor Ron Christensen has announced he will not be seeking re-election -- at least not to the commission. Instead, Christensen plans to run for a seat on the governing board of Gila Community College in November.
"I will also be doing some consulting work," he said. Among the topics on which he expects to consult: public lands, water and stewardship contracts. These topics and others are those Christensen has worked on for the past 10 years.
"To reduce the risk (of catastrophic wildfire) in the western U.S., we need an aggressive program," he said.
While his new work may take him on the road, his base will remain in the Rim country.
"It's a wonderful place to be living. My family is here and I'm getting up where I want to spend a reasonable amount of time with them."
Northern Gila County residents who have filed to run for Christensen's seat are Dan Haapala, Payson; Tommie Cline Martin, Payson; Gene Mawby, Pine; and Don Smith, Pine.
The deadline to file nominating petitions for the seat is June 9 at 5 p.m. so other candidates may yet enter the race.
Of those who already declared their intentions, Christensen is endorsing Martin.
"She has worked with me and for me on a number of issues, including range and forest problems," Christensen said. "I have a lot of confidence in her to carry on the work I've started."
He said Martin is also very much a part of Gila County history. Her parents are Pat and Raymond Cline, and she is also related to the Holder and Haught families.
"She is a very intelligent and articulate lady," Christensen said. "I'm very pleased she is seeking this position."