JACKSON, Wyo. — Teton County Commissioner Greg Epstein changed his mind about running for reelection.

“At the beginning of this year I had made a decision not to run for a second term, but life as we know it has changed,” Epstein wrote in an announcement on Facebook today.

Epstein said COVID-19 caused him to reconsider as it has “affected everyone’s lives to varying degrees.”

“During uncertain periods like this, continuity of experienced leadership is paramount. As a result, I have decided to run again for the Teton County Commission,” Epstein said. “I truly believe our community will come together, prevail and be stronger on the other side of this pandemic, but it’s going to require a collaborative effort and tough decisions.”

Epstein told Buckrail that the Board of County Commissioners is strong right now, and wants to see its leadership continue. Both Epstein and Board Chair Natalia Macker’s seats are open in 2020, and both are seeking reelection.

“I’ve had four years of experience under my belt being on the commission. Right now, that’s just really important,” Epstein told Buckrail.

The pandemic has not changed Epstein’s politics or the way he makes decisions, he said, but it has revealed how vulnerable this community really is. Issues that were already front-of-mind, like community housing and social services, have become even more critical.

“We need to focus on our workforce, and the health of our workforce, which is our community,” Epstein said. “We need to figure out how we can support a lot of these people that are probably in really serious need right now.”

In addition to addressing the impacts of COVID-19 in Teton County, Epstein said he will also continue to prioritize everyday issues like transportation and water quality.

Buckrail @ Shannon

Shannon is a Wyoming-raised writer and reporter. She just completed a master's in journalism from Boston University. Jackson shaped her into an outdoorswoman, but a love for language and the human condition compels her to write. She believes there's no story too small to tell nor adventure too small to take.