Two candidates for Monroe County Commissioner – Republican George Green and Democrat Duane Langhorst – are running for the seat currently held by board chairman Bob Elmore, a Republican who chose not to seek re-election. This term is for six years.
George Green is running as a Republican for the Monroe County Commissioner seat against Duane Langhorst.
He and his wife Linda (nee Hoffman) Green live in Maeystown. They have two children and four grandchildren. Green is a real estate broker with Tammy Mitchell Hines & Co. He retired from Industrial Minerals as an operations manager. He has a bachelor’s from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and an MBA from Webster University. He is currently on the Monroe County YMCA Board, a member of the St. Mary Parish Finance Committee, Village of Maeystown Trustee and member of the Maeystown Volunteer Fire Department. He is also a member of the Waterloo Rotary Club, St. Mary Parish, St. Mary Parish Knights of Columbus, Maeystown Sportsman Club, Maeystown Preservation Society, and a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association.
Green is seeking office because he has been “blessed to live in Monroe County and when asked to serve, I felt it was my duty to give back.”
Green points out three main issues in Monroe County: safety, economy and community health.
“With the unrest in the country, we must maintain vigilance and continue to fully support our local law enforcement and all first responders,” he said.
Green continued by expressing a “need to further promote economic development while preserving our rural lifestyle. Respect our farmers. They are the backbone of the county and we must look to their needs,” adding that “COVID has thrown us a curve ball and we need to safely reopen business while protecting our citizens – especially those in long-term care facilities.”
Green points to 35 years of experience as a business executive in a leadership role including business development, strategic planning, capital planning and labor relations as his qualifications for office.
When asked how he will promote the local economy, Green said the county is behind the eight ball” regarding Gov. JB Pritzker’s policies, specifically regarding workers compensation, and that makes Monroe County “not real attractive to business.”
Green pointed out there is a TIF program that could be “further enhanced” to bring business to the area and he would work with the county’s economic development office to “promote business.”
When asked about county ownership of Oak Hill, Green said it is “sustaining itself,” but he needs to do more research on its operations to determine an appropriate course of action. He did say that if the county ever decided to change its relationship with Oak Hill, he would support putting any action before Monroe County citizens in the form of a voter referendum.
The Democrat candidate running against George Green is Duane Langhorst.
He is a 1977 graduate of Gibault Catholic High School. After graduation, Langhorst served in the U.S. Air Force until 1980 as an aircraft maintenance worker. After honorable discharge, he joined the St. Louis Carpenter’s Union. He retired as a construction supervisor. He and wife Michele reside in Fults. They have three daughters and four grandchildren. He is a member of American Legion and Sons of the American Legion Post 622 – Prairie du Rocher, current Waterloo Masonic Lodge 787 Chaplain, member of Backstoppers, Maeystown Sportsman Club, Millwright Local 716 and Our Lady of Good Counsel – Renault and current president of the Monroe County Democrat Club.
Langhorst states that he wants “first and foremost to work for the citizens of Monroe County,” adding that his “main reason for running is to have a two-party system to help bring checks and balances to the county board.”
He noted that “one of the issues is party lines. Both parties need to start working together instead of against each other.”
Langhorst, if elected, hopes to bring more jobs to the area, work with law enforcement to keep drugs off the street and help those with substance abuse issues. He also pointed to a COVID-related decline in business revenue and real estate taxes as other key issues.
To promote local economic development, Langhorst said taxes are a “big issue” and he is in favor or tax incentives to encourage businesses to come to the county. He also expressed a desire for work in Monroe County to be done with union labor. He also said he would be open to allowing industrial projects in the county in order to drive job growth locally.
“We can always use the revenue,” Langhorst said, adding that he wants to “make Monroe County better than it already is.”
When asked about the county-owned Oak Hill facility, Langhorst strongly supported keeping the business a county interest.
“It’s an asset to the county and it’s making money. I know they’re having a rough time now because of COVID,” he said, reiterating that the county needs “to keep Oak Hill” and that “adjustments could be made elsewhere” if necessary.
For a video of the recent candidate forum, click here.