Howard hopes Wood’s legacy will be recognized for the good

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Many years ago, I was approached by friends to run for county judge/executive and after prayerful consideration, I ran for the position. Shortly into the term, I realized that some who had called for change weren’t as anxious for change as they had first thought. I say this because as I have watched Judge Steve Wood over the past three plus years, I see many of the same issues of resistance to change that I faced.

When I ran for office, like Steve, I was not a politician, I had been a school teacher. Wood is certainly no politician, he’s a successful businessman who sought to apply business principles to the operation of government. I am not going to say I agree with every decision he has made but I know Steve Wood, I know his heart and I know that he is a good Christian who has tried hard to do a good job for a county he cares deeply about.

Literally, from the day he took office, there have been those seeking to destroy Wood to advance their own political agendas and careers. Some recognized change was taking place and it wasn’t welcome. Judge Wood sought to bring down the cost and improve efficiency after inheriting budget that was underfunded.

The Democratic establishment filed an open records request within days of Wood taking office because he dared to employ as his deputy judge a man with more than 25 years of experience managing government at the state and local level. Why? Simply to embarrass Wood and intimidate his appointee.

Unlike his predecessor, who openly stated in the press that the jail was not his responsibility, Wood set about to repair a building where ongoing maintenance had largely been ignored.

Wood was caught in an off-color joke and pounced on by the media. Unfortunately, others used this to belittle the character of a good man. 

These tactics are the same antics we saw deployed in Washington as leftists sought to derail the confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

President Ronald Regan once said of Washington that if you destroy the character of a good man you do not have to debate the principles. The democratic tactics of distract, distort and destroy have been on full display in Grant County to destroy the reputation of Steve Wood, the first Republican in memory to hold the office of judge/executive.

Steve and Teresa Wood are good Christians. We pray together on a regular basis. I know in the end he will be better for having made the decision to leave public office at the end of his term.

None of us is without sin, but we live in a society where redemption and forgiveness is possible. We would all benefit from trying to see where the other side is coming from when there is disagreement.

I love Grant County and I love her people and our quality of life. I hope when the pages of history are written, Judge Steve Wood’s legacy will be recognized for all the good that he did.

Shirley Howard


Former Grant County Judge/Executive