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Candidate Profile: Kleeburg for County Commission Dist. 1

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In Nez Perce County, two seats are open on the board of commissioners.

One of those, the District 1 seat, is opening up as longtime commissioner Bob Tippett retires.

Jim Kleeburg is one of two Republican candidates vying for the spot.

A well-known face in city government, Kleeburg serves on Lewiston's city council and spent four years as mayor. Now he's setting his sights on the county's issues.

"I've been thinking about this for a long time," Kleeburg says of the move. "Having been in public service for over ten years now, the county presents some different challenges and I'm willing to step forward and help the county commissioners."

The biggest issue in his sights is the courthouse.

"Probably going to have to pass a bond," he says. "I know people don't like to hear that, but the building is falling apart."

He's also spent time with Planning and Zoning and the local Building Contractors Association. It's all prepared him for the tough decisions.

"There's a solution for every problem," Kleeburg says. It's the same mindset he's used in his time with the city.

Kleeburg is keeping an eye on state issues that will affect the county, including public defense and indigent medical care.

"The state is slowly sort of working towards a resolution, if you will, on maybe helping out the counties because the counties are on the hook for the first $11,000 of every indigent medical claim.," he says.

He says he has a good working relationship with the commissioners, and though they may not always agree, he's prepared to work alongside them. "To me, that's healthy government," he says. "You can agree to disagree, but when you leave the room, it stays there."

The Republican candidate that wins the nomination in the May 15th primary will face off against Democratic candidate Bob Blakey in November.

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