County officials sworn in at courthouse

Herald-Times: There was not a seat to be had as dozens of people gathered at the Monroe County Courthouse at noon Sunday for the swearing-in ceremony for elected officials who took office the first day of 2017.

In a year in which an unlikely Republican candidate won the race for U.S. president and Republicans swept into power around the state and nation, Democrats in Monroe County went undefeated.

They were the only ones sworn in during the half-hour ceremony. Monroe County Republican Party Chairman William Ellis did speak briefly, saying that no matter the political affiliation, the county is represented by people with the community’s best interest at heart.

His Democratic counterpart, Mark Fraley, agreed that Monroe County elects qualified candidates who seek to work with all facets of government and issues that challenge public institutions. “When we are at our best,” Fraley said, government works.

He encouraged the room full of Democrats to stay politically aware and vigilant these coming months and years. “There’s never been a more important time to be involved,” Fraley said.

Newly elected Monroe County Auditor Cathy Smith broke down crying when she took the microphone before being sworn in. She asked people to take time to remember the late Kevin Enright, the county surveyor who died after winning the May primary election.

“It breaks my heart he can’t be here with us today,” Smith said. “I worked with him for 12 years. He worked his behind off.”

Enright’s nephew, Trohn Enright-Randolph, was a surveyor in the office when Enright died and was selected to oversee operations until the election, when he officially won the role of county surveyor.