COOS COUNTY — Incumbent John Sweet has done it again. The Bandon native defeated challenger Katy Eymann on Tuesday night ensuring another term as Coos County commissioner.
According to the final unofficial election results, Sweet captured 57 percent of the vote, or 15,313 votes and Eymann 42 percent of the vote, or 11,073 votes.
Sweet has focused much of his campaign on building a sustainable economy for the county and creating new jobs. In an earlier interview with The World, Sweet said in the last five years he has worked on finding new opportunities for the county to diversify its economy.
“We can set the table, but it takes private investment to make this work,” Sweet said in a previous interview. “I’m not just interested in having new companies come in here or big corporations. It’s important to also expand our local economy and see local businesses here thriving.”
An avid supporter of the Jordan Cove Energy, Sweet stuck to his beliefs that the incoming company will not only bring in new positions to the county, but also provide higher paying salaries for residents.
Challenger Eymann made her stance on the LNG pipeline well-known throughout the county, often pointing out its potential safety and environmental hazards.
The attorney’s bid for commissioner centered on these concerns as well as other issues including addressing the county’s housing shortage, reigniting fishing, farming industries and developing the county’s workforce.
While she didn’t secure the win, Eymann said throughout her campaign she learned a lot about the residents of Coos County and the issues that proved most important to them. As the community moves forward, she said she hopes people stay engaged with local government and continue to voice their opinions.
“I want people to keep stepping up,” Eymann said. “I want them to express their opinions and come to county hearings on issues that are important to them and to let the county commissioners know that.”
Since 2012, Sweet has severed as commissioner for the county. He mentioned in a previous interview his role in the county’s success on improvements to its solid waste and park departments. In looking toward the future, Sweet said he wants to focus on the county’s overall tourism industry, grow the county forest and attract more residents to the area.
“I want to continue down the path that we’ve been on,” Sweet said. “My main objective is to do what the county can do to create more sustainable family-wage jobs here for residents.”