By Conrad Dudderar
EL RENO – Canadian County’s newest commissioner is getting up to speed as she takes an early start in her new position.
El Reno’s Tracey Rider took the oath of office Nov. 23 as the new District 3 county commissioner.
Fellow elected officials, county employees, family, and friends attended Rider’s swearing-in ceremony inside courtroom 1 at the Canadian County Courthouse, 301 N Choctaw.
Canadian County District Judge Paul Hesse administered the oath.
After receiving congratulations from Judge Hesse, Commissioner Rider introduced her family members and acknowledged supporters in the audience.
“I want to thank all of you for being here,” she said. “For all of you taking your time to come here, it’s very special.
“This would not have happened – and I would not have been able to be here today – without every single one of you, in some manner. I appreciate your support.”
Rider narrowly defeated Yukon’s Robert Merrick in the June 28th Republican primary election, 2,488-2,405, to win the District 3 commissioner seat.
“I appreciate your prayers – not just for getting here, for the next four years,” Rider added. “Because I have a lot to learn.
“I’m going to be reaching out to those who know a whole lot more than I do.”
Brian Mills, senior pastor at Trinity Baptist Church-Yukon, led the opening prayer at the oath of office ceremony.
Rider, a lifelong Canadian County resident and former El Reno City Council member, has started her official county government service about six weeks early.
The next four-year term for county officers doesn’t start until Jan. 1, 2023, but Yukon’s Jack Stewart resigned recently after 12-1/2 years as Canadian County’s District 3 commissioner.
Stewart stepped down to become the new District 18 state senator, having recently started a four-year term at the State Capitol.
ANOTHER OATH TO TAKE
Commissioner Rider will be sworn in for the next full four-year term in early January, alongside incoming District 1 Commissioner Tom Manske and County Assessor Matt Wehmuller.
Manske defeated two-term incumbent Marc Hader in the Republican primary. Wehmuller was elected without opposition to a fourth term in office.
Manske will join Rider and longtime District 2 Commissioner Dave Anderson on the three-member Canadian County Commission. Anderson is expected to continue as board chairman in 2023.
“I think the working relationship among the three commissioners is going to be stellar,” Rider shared.
Canadian County’s new District 3 commissioner previously was a human resources/accounting manager for a Yukon business. She calls herself a “people builder.”
“My leadership style is collaborative,” Rider explained. “I look at what is best for the whole and want to have input from everyone.”
She sees a bright future for Canadian County, Oklahoma’s fastest-growing county.
District 3 includes parts of Yukon, El Reno, Oklahoma City, Calumet, and Geary.
Rider will participate in her first weekly county commissioners’ meeting next Monday, Nov. 28 inside the County Administration Building, 201 N Choctaw.