Klamath County Commissioner and her mentor Bill Thompson.
One of the more difficult challenges I’ve had in my professional career is running a political campaign as a new candidate for Klamath County Commissioner in 2012. While I had served as a treasurer for a District Attorney’s campaign, I had limited knowledge of the inner workings of a campaign and zero knowledge about how to be a candidate. I had worked with Bill Thompson, the former Emergency Manager for the county, many times over the years when I worked as a journalist. It was Bill who encouraged me to run for office, and then supported me in multiple ways throughout my campaign. Bill Thompson officially became my campaign manager in 2012. He’s now my campaign manager, friend and mentor.
Having someone with a lot of experience in county government was invaluable to me as someone who had never worked in government. Bill is someone I could turn to with technical questions about Klamath County, as well as those not so technical questions like, “Is this idea too outrageous to work?” Bill was able to help me work through a problem-solving process to come to a good answer. The thing is, Bill would always have the answer, but he helped develop in me the tools to figure it out on my own, and, most importantly, he is always encouraging. If you have someone who always supports and encourages you, you know that is something you can’t put a price tag on. I don’t know if there has ever been, or will ever be, someone who cheers me on with as much enthusiasm and loyalty as Bill does. Mentors are uniquely capable of bringing out the best in us through their cheerleading, compassion, wisdom and support.
-Kelley Minty Morris