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Republican Lori Drake runs for Yavapai County Board of Supervisors seat

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Current Mingus Union High School District Board of Trustees Chair Lori Drake will not run for another term on the school board, instead becoming the lone Republican candidate for the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors District 3 seat.

“Politically, I'm a Republican. I've always had conservative views,” Drake said, “but I listen to reason in all things. I go outside the realm of common sense… I always try to find a middle ground on something. But I definitely lean more conservative.”

Drake cited his eventual vote against a proposal in 2020 to merge the Cottonwood-Oak Creek High School and Mingus Unified High School districts as an example of moving “towards the middle.”

“Certainly it was an issue where most people thought we'd save more money and be more conservative if we consolidated the entire school system,” Drake said, “and it was a time when we looked really hard at how much it would cost to run the school system, how much it would cost the community, how much it would cost to buy into the community, what would the tax base be? So I was on the side of not consolidating. And to this day, I'm a big fan of small schools and small school districts.”

Drake elaborated that her appreciation for smallness also extends to small businesses and the rural environment of the Verde Valley. “I'm a Cottonwood girl at heart,” Drake said. “This mountain side is a wonderful place to me, and I want to help preserve the rural lifestyle. But I also want to recognize that there is a need for growth, especially in housing and industry. And I'm definitely a small business person, so I love seeing small businesses grow and empower people in our community to build a life here.”

Drake stated his desire to protect Yavapai County's natural resources but did not elaborate on how his policies would address that issue.

“I want to be part of the thoughtful growth of our district and the county as a whole,” Drake said. “I want to contribute to the protection of our county's natural resources and lend my voice to the Board of Supervisors' mission, which is to 'provide for the welfare and safety of the residents of Yavapai County with effective, fiscally responsible leadership and to foster mutual cooperation with other government agencies,' which is their mission.”

“I've proven myself to be a thoughtful elected official,” Drake said. “I immerse myself in learning all about the issues at hand and I offer common sense opinions. So I definitely have a voice in that. [the] “It's the community. I know I have a big base of support in my area and I need to expand that to other areas. But I definitely like to hear from members of my community on the issues at hand.”

Drake will face one of two Democratic candidates in the November election: incumbent 3rd District Supervisor Donna Michaels and former Jerome Mayor Nikki Cech.

Joseph K. Giddens

Joseph K. Giddens grew up in southern Arizona and studied natural resources at the University of Arizona. He then joined the National Park Service in a variety of positions focused on geological science throughout the West. Fascinated by time and ancient landscapes, he has worked on public lands in Dinosaur National Monument, Petrified Forest National Park, Badlands National Park, and Saguaro National Park. Prior to joining the Sedona Red Rock News, he worked in several Tucson bureaus, as well as the Williams Grand Canyon News and the Navajo Hopi Observer. He enjoys reading past issues of Tombstone Epicettes and fantasizing about rock collecting. He can be reached at jgiddens@larsonnewspapers.com or (928) 282-7795 ext. 122.

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