A familiar figure in Platte County government has decided to throw his hat into the 2014 political arena.
Former Platte County 2nd District Commissioner Jim Plunkett announced Tuesday that he will be a candidate for Platte County Presiding Commissioner in the upcoming 2014 election, potentially pitting him against current Presiding Commissioner Jason Brown. “I took a year off from public service but I’m rested and ready to get to work with our two District Commissioners to move Platte County forward,” Plunkett said. Plunkett, a Republican, was first elected in 2004, served as Platte County’s 2nd District Commissioner from 2005-12. He did not seek re-election in 2012, due in large part he said because he was preparing to move out of the Second District and into southern Platte County. “I didn’t want to run for Second District again and then decide that I was moving into the First District,” he said. Republican Duane Soper defeated Democrat Sharon Aring in November 2012 and currently holds the four-year Second District post. The filing period for county government offices begins Feb. 25. Plunkett could be headed for an August primary showdown with current Presiding Commissioner Jason Brown, also a Republican, whose four-year term expires this year. The primary winner will advance to the general election in November. Plunkett and Brown served together on the Platte County Commission for two years. Plunkett declined to comment on Brown’s performance during his tenure as Presiding Commissioner or the lawsuit filed against the County after Brown’s controversial vote to approve the Chapel Ridge subdivision. “If I’m successful, I look forward to getting back to work for Platte County,” he said. Plunkett, formerly of rural Platte City, now resides in south Platte County with his wife Sherri and family. He is a Platte County small business owner of 29 years and a long-time Platte County resident. When contacted Tuesday by The Citizen, Brown declined to say whether he would seek re-election. “I will have an official campaign announcement at the appropriate time,” he said. Brown also said that he looked forward to hearing from Plunkett. “I look forward to hearing from Jim why he is running, his accomplishments, and what his plans are to move Platte County forward,” he said.