Rainsboro resident Tara Matthews Campbell has announced her candidacy for Highland County commissioner that will be open at the end of the year after current commissioner Jeff Duncan announced he will not seek re-election.
Campbell will be running as a Democrat in the May 3 primary against John D. Knauff.
Campbell said in a news release that her purpose for running for county commissioner is because she feels it is important to advocate for the county’s values, and to have representation on the board that focuses on family values, agriculture, mental health, small business and support for all Highland County citizens.
She said she “is an advocate to preserve agricultural land and have limited government involvement in decisions of land use and daily living.” She said that, “while she acknowledges the rights of landowners to make decisions for their property, she also feels it is very important for landowners to look at the effects of their decisions, such as decreasing the amount of farmland in Highland County, affecting the peace of mind of neighbors in a rural community, and decreasing the farming opportunities that (are) left for young farmers here in Highland County.”
She shared that she recognizes the importance of working with businesses in Highland County in order to strengthen the workforce and prepare students to stay and work locally after high school or college, and that she feels that opportunities for work experience, on the job training, and technical programs have endless value in the county.
“As commissioner, (I) will meet and listen to Highland County citizens’ opinions and views,” the news release said.
Campbell is the daughter of Rick Matthews and the late Cindy (Estle) Matthews. She was raised in the Rainsboro community, where she continues to reside with her husband, Todd, stepdaughter, Madison, and grandchildren, Cairo and Ora, on their farm.
In addition, the family operates a small trucking company. Campbell also assists and brother and two sisters on their grandparents’ farm, where she takes care of the cattle and the hay operation. She is currently the deputy director at Highland County Community Action, and has previously served as director of workforce services for OhioMeansJobs Highland County.
Campbell is a 1999 McClain High School graduate and United States Marine Corps veteran, where she served as a military police officer. After serving in the Marines, she continued her education at University of Rio Grande, where she received her bachelor’s degree in social sciences, then attended the University of Cincinnati and received a Master of Science degree in criminal justice. She also completed an additional Master of Education degree in mental health counseling from Ohio University.
Campbell is a licensed professional counselor and a licensed independent chemical dependency counselor. She serves as chairman of the Highland County Suicide Prevention Coalition, secretary of the New Directions Youth Ministry board in Greenfield, and is a member of VFW Auxiliary, American Legion, AMVETS, Highland County Farm Bureau and Rainsboro United Methodist Church.
Information for this story was provided by Tara Campbell.