The following statement was issued by outgoing White County Board member Mike Ray at the close of the November 15th meeting of the White County Board.
“Sixteen years ago, I entered and won a Democratic Primary election against two worthy opponents, Sue James from Norris City and the incumbent Spud Poshard from Herald. I then went on to win the general election that fall against Republican Ezra Millspaugh. Winning those elections was a humbling event in my life. I was elected by the citizens of Emma, Herald’s Prairie, and Indian Creek townships but was given the responsibility of representing all the citizens of White County.
I would like for you to know that it has been a great experience to serve on this Board and conduct business for the citizens of White County. I have always tried to make every decision for the benefit of the citizens of the county. Every question that I asked was asked in the interest of fiscal responsibility. I think that my insistence on controlling expenses, questioning purchases, and requiring more efficiencies sometimes lead to friction with other elected officials and employees, but I felt that it was my duty because the taxpayers deserved it. I know at times that my inquiries were not taken kindly, but I felt like that was what the citizens elected me to do. I think it would be safe to say that everyone in County Government would agree that I am a very conservative Democrat. Maybe at times too conservative, and if you consider that a fault, I apologize, but have no regrets about it. I definitely am not a left wing liberal that shares the current views of the National Democratic Party.
Last week’s election was a humbling experience also. Having ran many times unopposed since 2000 coupled with the fact I have made some people unhappy over the last few years by insisting on fiscal accountability, led to an opponent for this fall’s general election. We just experienced a Republican landslide in our County as well as in all rural counties throughout the state and nation. Voters were ready for a change and I got caught in the middle of it.
I take this loss as a bump in the road and an opportunity to take another fork in the road. One person told me that it could be a blessing in disguise and I believe that could very much be the case. I believe that God has some other things in store for me. This is going to provide me with the time to pursue other interests.
I want to thank all of my supporters over the years. I hope that I have not let you down. I especially want to thank my family, employees, appointed and elected officials of County Government, and citizens of my district as well as the entire county. I would like to express my gratitude for having had the opportunity to serve you for 16 years. This is something that few people get to do in their lifetime and I thank you for it.”