Accepts new position with Kasich administration –
By Patricia Beech –
In a story first reported by The People’s Defender, Adams County Commissioner Stephen Caraway has announced he will resign after accepting a position with Ohio Governor John Kasich’s administration. Caraway told the Defender on Friday that he had been talking to the governor’s office about the position for a few weeks..
“Last week I took a call from the Governor’s office and they issued me a soft offer, but I had to resign first, so I submitted my letter of intent to resign and it was accepted by our office.”
His resignation, effective Aug. 8, will officially end his term of service in Adams County government. “Serving the people of Adams County has been a true honor, but this was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up,” he said. “I’m at peace with my choice and excited about this job opportunity.”
Caraway will begin serving as the Governor’s Southwest Ohio Regional Liaison in mid-August.
“When I started out as a young broadcaster at C103 at age 15 and later became Adams County’s Director of Tourism, I had no idea that it would lead to working for the Congress, being a County Commissioner, and now serving a Governor that I respect so much.”
In his new role Caraway will work out of the Governor’s Regional Office in Cincinnati, but says he will maintain his residence in West Union. “So many folks have called and emailed me over the weekend saying, we’re going to miss you. My message to them was ‘thank you, but I’m not going anywhere’,” he explains further. “My job may be different, but I still have the same passion and desire to help make Adams County thrive and prosper as I did when I started my career. I’ll continue to be involved in community activities that have been a part of mine and Kelly’s lives for many years.”
According to Caraway, his close Adams County ties have been a guiding principle in his open-door approach to governing,
“We created the Adams County Cares Program to make it easier for the citizens of Adams County to share their concerns and to contact us when they have an issue,” he says. “We all believe that government should be transparent and helpful to the people we serve, and I pride myself on putting people before politics.
Likewise, he judges his performance in county government by its effect on the people he served. He points to the record of accomplishments he shares with his fellow commissioners. “We’ve worked hard to maintain a balanced budget and create a more efficient, responsible, and modern county government,” he says, adding “We’ve fought for and been awarded millions of dollars in funding for critical infrastructure projects, we’ve stood up against burdensome federal regulations that were threatening the future of our small businesses, and we’ve helped set Adams County on the path of a bright and booming tourism industry that will continue to grow and provide an economic boost to our area.”
Caraway calls his imminent departure from the Commissioner’s office bittersweet.
“Working with Commissioners Worley and Baldridge has been one of the highlights of my career in public service,” he said. “We don’t always agree, but I know both of these fine gentlemen pour their hearts and souls into making Adams County a better place. And our staff in the office, Clerk Becky Brodt and Deputy Clerk Linda Mendenhall are a true blessing and work hard each day to help us run the business of county government.”
Ohio State Representative Terry Johnson, commenting on Caraway’s departure said, “Stephen is enormously talented and has served Adams County in an exemplary fashion. He is a wonderful ambassador for our community and a person I am proud to call a friend. I wish him only the best in his future endeavors and pray for his continued success.”
Replacing Caraway, who is currently running for a second term as Commissioner, is a complicated process. To remove his name from the November ballot, Ohio law required he resign his position before Aug. 15.
“I chose to resign before the deadline so that the Republican Central Committee would have time to appoint a successor,” said Caraway. “That person will replace me on the ballot and be voted on by the people of Adams County this fall.”