Incumbent Pottawatomie County Commissioner Melissa Dennis announces she will be a candidate for re-election this year. Dennis has served as Commissioner for District 1 since 2011. She is a Republican.

“As County Commissioner, I’ve made sure basic government functions are done in the most convenient and cost-effective way possible, growing our local economy in the process,” Dennis said. “I promise to continue that focus if re-elected.”

Among her various accomplishments in office, Dennis has replaced approximately 150 culverts since the massive flooding in 2013; worked directly with FEMA and the Oklahoma Department of Transportation on Pottawatomie County cleanup efforts after the 2013 tornadoes; cleaned approximately 38 miles of existing ditches and formed new ditches to improve drainage that maintains road conditions; replaced several inadequate and dangerous bridges in Pottawatomie County; re-opened Brangus Road between Westech and Garretts Lake Road, which had been closed since 2007 due to a flood on the North Canadian River; re-opened Crosslin Road north of Highway 3, which had been closed due to the floods of 2013; and hard-surfaced approximately 32 miles of District 1 roads.

Dennis also helped bring Shawnee Marketplace to town, which includes new businesses such as Ulta, T.J. Max, PetSmart and Hobby Lobby. She led in negotiation and purchase of the MidFirst Bank Building to help alleviate crowded conditions in the Pottawatomie County Courthouse. Dennis also played a key role in an initiative approved by county voters to direct local tax money to local schools.

                    

Prior to her election as County Commissioner, Dennis was Pottawatomie County Road and Bridge Coordinator and an auditor in the office of the Oklahoma State Auditor.

Dennis is Chairman of Local Elected Officials of the Central Oklahoma Workforce Board which is comprised of 9 counties: Cleveland, Canadian, Hughes, Lincoln, Logan, Okfuskee, Oklahoma, Pottawatomie, and Seminole. She also serves on the Commissioner Advisory Board through the OSU-County Training Program; this board is responsible for writing the County Commissioners Handbook.

She is currently Vice-Chair of the Shawnee Economic Development Foundation, secretary of the County Officers and Deputies Association Board, and a member of the Association of County Commissioners of Oklahoma.

Dennis is involved in numerous civic and community activities. She is a member of the Pottawatomie County Historical Society, Shawnee Chamber of Commerce, Shawnee Rotary Club as well as Board Secretary of Project Heart. Dennis is a supporter of the Shriners as well as the Pottawatomie County 4H Program.

Dennis is a product of Byng High School and St. Gregory University, where she obtained a bachelor’s degree in Business Management and graduated with honors.

Dennis and her husband Scott have two grown children: Tyler, 25 and Scotlyn, 21. They attend Immanuel Baptist Church in Shawnee.

“The people of Pottawatomie County deserve a County Commissioner who will stretch their tax dollars and generate maximum effect for every penny of taxpayer money spent,” Dennis said. “I look forward to meeting with citizens in the coming months as I ask for their vote to continue serving as District 1 County Commissioner.”

This is a submitted candidate announcement. Candidates for 2018 can submit announcements (no more than 500 words) by emailing them before May 28 to: kimberly.morava@news-star.com. Pictures can be included.