ELKO – Elko native Jeanna Secrist became the third candidate to enter the race for city council on Wednesday.
Secrist joined Bill Hance and Chip Stone in the race for one of the two vacant seats on the City Council, filing her paperwork with City Clerk Shanell Owen on March 7.
The top two vote-getters in the non-partisan race will be determined on Nov. 6.
Secrist works as a part-time dental hygienist and she and her husband, Gregory, own Ruby Mountain Motors. She explained that her experience in those fields, along with her ties to the community as part of a young family, helped her decide to run for office.
“I think I would bring a fresh perspective” to the city council,” Secrist said. “Young families have a lot invested in Elko. If you want to stay here, you want to be a part of the community.”
“I just like to be involved in positive change,” she said.
As a native and business owner, Secrist, a mother of three, said she felt she “could bring some valuable input” to the city council to improve the economy, including the appearance and landscape of Elko.
“I see that Elko is growing all the time,” Secrist said. “I’d like to be involved in economic growth, seeing different businesses coming in and different activities coming in for our families.”
Secrist added that the “general landscape” of Elko was also important to her.
“As we grow, we still want it to look nice for people traveling through and for ourselves.”
Secrist cited her experience sitting on the Idaho State Dental Hygienist Association board for four to five years, serving “as a trustee up to president,” and on the Idaho Oral Health Alliance board.
Today, she is a volunteer with the Nevada Dental Hygienists Association.
She said she sees her work on the boards and training in the healthcare field being put to use on the city council.
“I do think that people who are trained in the health care field learn how to critically think through scenarios,” Secrist said.
Secrist, a graduate of Spring Creek High School, said her husband Gregory supported her decision to run for office, a decision that was “no surprise to him” because of her previous experience on the dental hygienist boards.
“He’s really supportive,” she said.
Although the race for the two city council seats currently has three candidates, Secrist said she believes it will be better for the public to hear a variety of opinions.
“I think this election will be pretty busy,” Secrist said. “As of now there are three people. I think a lot of voices will be heard.”
“But it gives people a choice. The more people that run, the more choice our public has.”