The new board of Clark County commissioners became official Wednesday morning at a brief but well attended oath-of-office ceremony.
Commissioner David Madore, a Republican, was sworn in for the first time. Madore defeated incumbent Marc Boldt, also a Republican, for the seat in November’s general election.
Commissioner Tom Mielke took the oath for the second time after his successful re-election bid against Democrat Joe Tanner.
Also sworn into office at the ceremony was Jim Malinowski, who was elected as a Clark Public Utilities commissioner.
The three men introduced and thanked their families and friends after taking the oath.
Madore took some extra time at the dais, promising to embrace the role of commissioner and protect the county’s resources the best he could. He then asked anyone who considered him a friend to stand, which prompted nearly half of the 100 people in the room to rise to their feet and applaud.
Madore then asked if anyone had any questions for him, to which a director of a local Christian nonprofit organization, Dennis Fuqua, asked if a group could pray with the newly elected officials. Fuqua later said it was a gesture he thought Madore, along with the other elected officials, would appreciate.
All three men, along with Commissioner Steve Stuart, agreed to take part, bowing their heads at the front of the room for a brief prayer before the ceremony was called to a close.
Some governments across the country participate in prayer during government proceedings, including the United States Congress. But prayer at such an event appears to be atypical in Clark County.
Clark County Treasurer Doug Lasher, the senior elected official in the county, said he’s never seen or heard of prayer at one of Clark County’s oath of office ceremonies since he first took office in 1984.