Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Herald: Preston Alder is seeking your vote for Graham County Board of Supervisors District 2.
THATCHER – After spending the last 16 years serving the community on the Thatcher School Board, local businessman Preston Alder is seeking to continue to serve the community as the Graham County District 2 Supervisor.
Alder is running on the Republican ticket for the primary and considers himself as a fiscal conservative.
The Graham County Board of Supervisors is made up of three individuals, including currently Danny Smith – District 1, Jim Palmer – District 2, and Paul David – District 3. With Palmer retiring, he has given his endorsement to Alder to continue in his stead. Alder told the Gila Herald that he believes Smith and David have done an exemplary job.
“I’d be honored to serve with those guys,” he said. District 2 encompasses Thatcher, Pima, Fort Thomas, and Klondyke.
Born and raised in Graham County, Alder’s roots contain pioneer heritage on both sides of his family. Alder is a family man who has been married to his wife, Melissa (Dodge) Alder, for 28 years and has five children and four grandchildren.
Alder has also been a longtime member of the Arizona Farm Bureau, and as a former cotton farmer knows the importance of agriculture and ranchers in our community.
“I understand the importance of agriculture,” Alder said. “If that water were to go away, a lot of other things would go away too.”
After graduating from Thatcher High School in 1984, he attended Eastern Arizona College before starting to work as a cotton farmer with his dad for about five years.
Alder then hit a crossroad and was set to go to school out of state when his father-in-law, Bruce Dodge, was looking for some help at Boulevard Service for the summer. Well, the summer-time help extended through the years and then Alder and Dodge split the business, with Alder taking the auto repair and Dodge handling the glass business. A few years ago, Alder was provided with the opportunity to transform the store into a Big O Tires, and now owns and operates that business along with a second location in Show Low and has been working there for the past 20 years.
Alder has served as President of the Thatcher School Board for the past 11 years out of his 16-year-tenure on the board and has enjoyed working with others for the betterment of the community.
“I’ve worked around a lot of good people and have learned a lot,” Alder said. “I think, through public service on the school board, it has taught me a lot of things that will help me be a good county supervisor.”
With his business and agriculture background, and his vast knowledge of working budgets through his experience on the school board, Alder believes he is the ideal candidate for the BOS District 2 seat.
“I see a lot of similarities with schools and county governments as they both work on very limited budgets,” Alder said.
Throughout the years, Alder has faithfully served in his church in a variety of ways, and has been a member of the Graham County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, served as Graham County Republican Precinct Chairman, EAC Booster Club President, and as a member of the Thatcher and EAC booster clubs.
If elected, Alder has workers and family in place to take over his position as general manager of Big O Tires and will simply delegate the day-to-day operations to a new manager while staying as the owner.
“I feel like I bring a lot of experience and knowledge with agriculture and with my business here I understand the importance of small businesses and the government’s role in supporting local businesses,” Alder said.
While he doesn’t have any set initiative to begin upon being elected, Alder said some important issues include improving the area’s roads, helping the local youth, helping alleviate the homeless problem and drug addiction, being a good steward for the taxpayers, and helping EAC become a four-year school.
So, on Aug. 4 or by early ballot, Preston Alder is asking you to consider voting for him to the Graham County Board of Supervisors District 2. For more information on Alder’s campaign, visit his Facebook page here.
“I love this county,” Alder said. “I’m very fortunate that we’re able to live here. I remember as a kid that I didn’t want to live anywhere else. I lived outside for a while, but I always wanted to come home here. My goal is to enable our next generation to continue to do so as well.”