There will be no contested races in the spring election for the Columbia County Board of Supervisors but a father and son will both be on the ballot again.
Matthew L. Rohrbeck, who is currently serving on the board in District 8, which represents wards 1 and 3 in the city of Portage, has filed nomination paperwork in District 22, which serves the city of Columbus wards 4-6. The reason: he purchased a home in Columbus and will be moving there, said Rohrbeck.
Running in his former district is his father, Steven Rohrbeck. This will be his second time running for the District 8 seat. The last time was in 2014 when both he and his son ran for the seat.
They younger Rohrbeck was appointed to fill the seat in 2014 after the incumbent, Richard Boockmeier, died.
“My plan was, since I was getting ready to go to grad school, and was working full time, for my dad to get into it,” said Matt Rohrbeck. “My perspective was ‘hey we’ll both put in’, I thought they would take my dad over me because he’s retired and has more free time than I did. Long story short, that didn’t happen.”
He said he is excited at the possibility of serving on the same board as his father, as well as having new and additional opinions brought to the board.
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“I think it will be pretty fun, as much as you learn from your dad, you’re always going to have a different perspective than he does,” he said. “I mean, he just had a different childhood than I did, and different experiences. It will just be interesting, we’ve had political conversations and we do have differing opinions, and that’s completely fine. I’ve always believed the more opinions the better.”
Steven Rohrbeck has previously served on the Board of Stewards at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Portage and once unsuccessfully ran for Portage Common Council.
“I’ve always been fascinated with politics, but I always promised my neighbor Dick Bockmeier that I would never run until he didn’t want to run anymore or whatever, and unfortunately it was the whatever,’ he said. “But I think it’s time that I throw my hat in a little bit more.”
Steven Rohrbeck said he is also looking forward to the possible opportunity to serve on the same board as his son.
“I’m feeling really good about it, I’m looking forward to it. We’ve always had that bond where we work together, so I’m excited to work with him on the county board,” said Steven. “I can learn something, my kid’s really smart, I’m very proud of him.”
Both Rohrbecks will see an uncontested race in their districts, as no other candidate has filed in District 8, and District 22’s incumbent Brandon Blair filed for non-candidacy on Dec. 26, meaning the county board meeting in March will be his last.
The county board elections will take place on April 7, 2020 and will also serve as the primary presidential race.
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