Steamboat Springs Routt County Commissioner Nancy Stahoviak will run for a fifth consecutive term in next year's election.
"It has been my privilege to have served the citizens of Routt County as a county commissioner for the last 15 years," Stahoviak wrote in a statement released Monday. "I continue to enjoy the challenges and rewards that serving the community in this capacity brings."
If elected to another four-year term, and if she fulfills it, Stahoviak would have served as the Routt County commissioner representing South Routt for 20 years. There are no term limits for Routt County commissioners. Commissioner Doug Monger's seat is also up for election next year; he has not announced whether he will seek re-election.
"I'll be announcing if I'm going to or not soon," Monger said. "I don't want to steal the spotlight from Nancy."
No challengers have announced an intention to oppose Stahoviak, though Routt County Democratic Chairman Ken Brenner expects a challenger from his party to emerge.
"There's been a couple people who have expressed interest in that office," Brenner said. "I would imagine her announcement might trigger some sort of action."
Catherine Carson, vice chairwoman of the county Democrats, said Stahoviak is well respected across party lines. That doesn't mean residents shouldn't have another option, she said.
"Nancy has been a really good person for the county, but it's always good to give voters a choice," Carson said.
Routt County Republican Central Committee Chairman Vance Halvorson said the party is "really excited about Nancy running" and said she possesses many qualities that give her a bipartisan appeal.
"It's a combination of knowledge, experience, and the other thing is she's very much a people person," Halvorson said. "She really is a great leader and she brings a lot to the table in terms of talent."
Halvorson said Stahoviak has been an effective leader while serving with Democratic commissioners Monger and Diane Mitsch Bush.
Since her initial election to the Board of County Commissioners, Stahoviak has been opposed on Election Day only once - in 2004, when she was challenged in the primary and general elections. In the latter, Stahoviak beat Libertarian candidate Mike Kien with 72 percent of the vote.
Brenner hopes next year's race will be contested, as well.
"Contested races are an important part of democracy and encourage the discussion of issues," Brenner said. "Uncontested races are unhealthy. I would hope somebody would take this opportunity to have that discussion with Nancy."
Stahoviak identified the creation of affordable housing, development of child care and early childhood education programs, and attracting and maintaining a quality work force as some of the most important issues facing the county.
The health of Stahoviak, who will turn 61 in March, was a concern in the 2004 election. She participated in most commissioner meetings via phone conferences that year after being flown to a Denver hospital because of life-threatening kidney failure and infections in December 2003.
She has suffered other illnesses and ailments, and in March 2005, her right leg was amputated above the knee to prevent the spread of bacterial infections.
Stahoviak said Monday that her health is "absolutely" stable and that she has been able to work 40- to 50-hour weeks without any problems.
"I probably feel better now than I have in a really long time," Stahoviak said. "I love this job. I really do. I love serving. : I don't do this for any other reason than the fact that I love doing it."
Stahoviak has lived in Oak Creek for 31 years and began her career in public service a few years after moving there. She has served as a town trustee, mayor and town treasurer for Oak Creek. She also has served on various nonprofit boards and state advisory boards.