My wife Jozell and I are lifetime residents of Leelanau County, except for a short time just after we were married. I graduated from Suttons Bay Highschool, and our class just celebrated our 45th reunion at the Village Inn. We live on the farm I grew up on, which Jozell and I purchased in 1987. My passion for the county comes from my childhood in my father’s cherry orchards; he was a factory worker by day and as the brother to 5 sisters helping to run the family farm market. My ancestry on my mother’s side (Schaub) dates back to 1855, when Simon Schaub arrived in Leelanau County, settling in the area known as “Le Naro.” Jozell’s ancestors, the Korsons, are from the Gills Pier area. From our ancestors to our grandchildren, we’ve inherited a great love for the beauty of Leelanau County.
Jozell and I have persevered through challenges as entrepreneurs, parents, and community members. We were a newly married couple with a baby on the way when the Global Recession of 1981-82 hit. Construction was hard hit, and I was laid off. For a time, we could barely make ends meet and could have qualified for assistance programs. I often worked multiple jobs nights and weekends while learning the electrical trade daily as an apprentice. Jozell soon started an in-home daycare that she would run for ten years, caring for many local children and our five children. Together we raised our five children through good times and challenging times. In October we will have been married 41 years.
I started in the electrical trade right here in Leelanau County as a way to earn money for my college education. From my start as an apprentice with a shovel as my primary tool, I advanced to journeyman, foreman, shop superintendent, and eventually division manager. In 1997 I started my own business. Through hard work, prayer, and thoughtful fiscal planning, we expanded to employ a crew of over 100. Again, together, we managed our business and survived through the Great Recession of 2007 to 2009. We have learned a lot through these experiences, much of it the hard way. Although we have been blessed with the success of our business, we have also known hard, lean times. I could not have done any of it without my wife Jozell. I value her judgment, her insight, and her love and support.
I will serve the people of Leelanau County with a desire to ensure future generations have the opportunity to build a life and raise their families right here in the county.
I believe in fiscal responsibility. One of a county commissioner's primary responsibilities is to the county's taxpayers. We must provide oversight and ensure that the county's business is carried out in a fiscally responsible and efficient manner. I will make sure your tax dollars are spent wisely.
I believe in personal accountability and the rule of law. I will support our local law enforcement and first responders. They are on the front line to provide a safe and secure place to live and raise our children.
I believe in liberty and freedom. Government should not be structured such that it is a barrier to individuals and families seeking their dreams. While county government plays an important role in our lives, it is not the answer to every problem. In our attempts to help, we must first ensure we are not getting in the way.
Lastly, my years as a businessman have taught me to be a pragmatic problem solver. I try to learn from the past but not dwell on it. I am a forward-looking person and try to understand others' viewpoints. I will attempt to carry out my duties as commissioner in the least divisive and most civil manner possible. I will be there to get the job done, period.
These are some of the local organizations we support. Jozell and I have and will continue to support organizations locally and worldwide in places like Africa, Poland, Afghanistan, Haiti, and Ukraine that help orphans, families, single moms, and schools.
I believe it is our responsibility and moral obligation to give back to our community. I have no political aspirations; I am running out of a sense of duty to those who came before me and made it possible for me to raise my family in this county. I am grateful that most of my five children and eight grandchildren reside in the county. The rest hope to move back here. I hope the county is always an inviting and viable place for young families. Young families are essential to our community, contributing to a thriving workforce, local schools and a vibrant community.
We must strive to preserve the character of Leelanau County.
Register to vote by visiting the Suttons Bay or Bingham township clerk, by visiting any
Secretary of State Office, or at the Leelanau County Clerk's office.
Absentee ballot applications can be made at your local township clerk’s office, or online at Michigan.gov.
How to register to vote in Leelanau County.
Paid for by Douglas Rexroat for County Commissioner # 45-2022-009