Clenece Hills on Monday became the first candidate to file for election to the 3rd District Douglas County Commission seat.
A Democrat, Hills said that she has no personal agenda and no ax to grind, but that she wants to help the county continue to be a special place.
"That means there are decisions ahead of us regarding growth, annexation, water rights, transportation and all of the things that we depend upon," she said.
Hills, 69, completed the paperwork and made her announcement in the county courthouse surrounded by about 20 supporters.
"Clenece is a leader. She's a good listener. She's a hard worker," said Fred DeVictor, retired director of the Lawrence Parks and Recreation Department.
Hills is probably best known for her work as president of the 2004 Lawrence Sesquicentennial Commission and for her long teaching career. She now is a part-time teacher at South Junior High School.
Lawrence public schools Superintendent Randy Weseman described Hills as a dedicated public servant.
"In a time when most people are content to sit on the sidelines and either watch or criticize, Clenece Hills is the exception," he said.
Earlier this year, Hills changed her voter registration from being unaffiliated to Democrat. She said that she is political - but not partisan - and welcomes support of Democrats, Republicans and Independents.
"In my lifetime I've been all of those," she said. "I know how hard it is to make a commitment, but I've made this commitment this year because I believe in the direction our country should go and I want to be a part of that. This is truly a landmark election."
Other supporters said Hills is a good listener and organizer. In addition to leading the Sesquicentennial Commission, she also was chairwoman of the Douglas County American Revolution Bicentennial Commission.
The 3rd District position is held by Jere McElhaney, but he is not running for re-election. The district includes most of western Douglas County and southwestern Lawrence.