KINGMAN – Will she or won't she?
With more than four months left until potential Mohave County Board of Supervisor candidates vying for the District 5 seat can begin filing for the 2018 election, its current seatholder says she has no plans to run.
Lois Wakimoto added that, since being appointed to the position in September, Mohave County has been faced with “a huge water issue” and that she wants to “see it through,” she said.
“What I will say is I want to make sure the water doesn’t leave this area, and that’s what I would have to say to you about my running because that was not my intention. But it’s a huge issue and I haven’t pulled any papers if that’s what you’re asking, but I just want to make sure this water deal is finished,” said Wakimoto.
“My intention was to take this position for the term, that still is my intention; don’t say I have intentions to pull papers because I don’t. I’m just saying there’s a situation that has arisen that is really important to the growth and development of this county and I want to see it through. That’s all I’m saying, I want to make sure that the water stays in Mohave County.”
Wakimoto explained that the Central Arizona Project wants to buy up farmland in Mohave Valley and send its water back into Maricopa, Pinal and Pima counties, she said.
“In essence, (it) stifles the growth of Mohave County because Mohave Valley was going to be used as a backup in case there was a drought or anything in Lake Havasu City or Bullhead City, so this affects the entire county and the economic development and so on,” she said.
Wakimoto was appointed to her current position after Steve Moss resigned to take a judge role in the midst of his second year in the four year term. At the time, she told the existing Board of Supervisors that she would not run in next year’s election.
“She told me that she’s not going to run when we interviewed…(and) one of the conditions I had was that seat would be an open seat so I don’t expect any of that to be different,” said District 2 Supervisor Hildy Angius. “I mean she’s working very, very hard on the water, she’s doing an excellent, excellent job…(and) I don’t know about the specific one, the timeline, but we will have water issues way after we’re all done, it’s always going to be water issues so I expect things to go as they’ve been told to me.”
Allen Tempert, Mohave County elections director, explained that the “two-year unexpired term” of the District 5 seat is the only Board of Supervisors seat up for grabs in the Aug. 28, 2018 primary election and that it will be up again in 2020 as a four-year term along with the rest of them, he said. Candidates can begin filing April 30, 2018 and until May 30, 2018, said Tempert.
Sue Donahue, a former State Senator who competed against Wakimoto, among others, for the District 5 seat last year, also said she has no plans to run for the seat next year.
“I have the best interest of the constituents at heart and I don’t think right now is a good time for me personally to run for anything,” she said, later adding that her “personal hope” would be that Lake Havasu City resident Ron Gould step into the District 5 seat.
Gould, another former State Senator of eight years and a Lake Havasu City Councilman from 2002 to 2004, said he is “seriously considering running” for the District 5 seat next year. He also competed for the position last year.
“The county’s got real issues that need to be addressed, I think their spending is out of control and that needs to be reined in,” he said.
James Zaborsky, a former Mohave County Board of Supervisor from 1997 to 2000, said he plans to run for the District 5 seat next year. Zaborsky also competed for it last year.
“I pulled papers and I have the petitions and I’ll probably start putting everything together if not next week then probably the week after,” said the Fort Mohave resident.
Zaborsky said, if elected, one of the issues he’d like to focus on is water.
“I know Lois is really involved in that right now, in fighting it, and I agree with her and the other supervisors that if our area is going to grow, we need to keep the water here locally, we shouldn’t be transferring water rights outside of our county,” he said.