The longest serving Crook County commissioner in recent history has filed his candidacy papers for the Crook County judge position.
>Commissioner Mike McCabe announces his candidacy for Crook County judge
Mike McCabe filed Wednesday afternoon, according to the Crook County Clerk's Office.
His announcement comes after current Judge Scott Cooper announced that he will not run again for another term when his term expires on Dec. 31.
"After 16 years, it's just time to move up or move over," McCabe said. "After the judge decided not to run, I kicked it over for a month and talked with my family and they're OK with it. And then I decided to file and pursue it."
McCabe's term as county commissioner ends Dec. 31.
"I think one of my major talents is I can work with about anybody," the commissioner said. "I don't have any agenda. I like people and working with people."
He noted that a variety of people have served on the county court and "I have been able to work with everybody."
A variety of challenges will face McCabe or whomever is elected as county judge.
"Oh I think it's always infrastructure," he said. "It's (being) able to maintain our roads with everything going on. And the reason it's going to be a concern is that the federal government is probably not going to be able to fund the Rural Schools Initiative 106393 (the numerical reference to the law)."
"I think water is going to be huge issue throughout Oregon as well as irrigation. Just making sure we have enough water to continue to grow crops," the long-time serving commissioner said. "Everybody in the world has got their hand out for water, whether it's fisheries people or what have you."
Currently, McCabe earns about $30,000 a year as a county commissioner and would earn about twice that as judge.
"You don't do it for the money though," the candidate said, laughing. "I guarantee you. You don't do it for the money."
In addition to his duties as a county commissioner, McCabe also works as a real estate agent and farmer. In the past, he has worked in agricultural lending.
He has served on the county commission since 1992 and was chairman of the Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council for six years. He also is a charter member of the Crook County Commission on Children and Families and the Ochoco Community Clinic. Additionally, McCabe has served as co-chairman of the Oregon Consortium, as well as serving on the Association of Oregon Counties (AOC) Veterans Committee, the AOC Water Policy Committee, the Crook County Fair Board and the Crook County Natural Resources Committee.