Laurance to retire, Freeman hopes to take his place

ROSEBURG, Ore. -- A Roseburg lawmaker says he's planning to step away from the office he holds in the state legislature, and is hoping a new position will help him to make more of a difference locally.

State Representative Tim Freeman announced a big change in his future plans. "I've decided not to seek re-election for my state representative seat, and instead run for a position for county commissioner."

Freeman says he came to the decision because he wanted to serve the local community.

He hopes to help put Douglas County on stronger economic footing.

Freeman says he'll serve out his term in the state legislature, which will likely be in session through June.

He will be running for the seat currently held by commissioner Joe Laurance, who was elected to the commission in 2007.

Since then, Laurance says he's worked hard on a number of projects in Douglas County.

Laurance said he will be retiring at the end of his term.

When he retires, Laurance says he won't be a stranger in the community. "I may consider perhaps becoming part of a volunteer group," he said. "But first, I want to do some hard play."

That hard play includes motorcycling, fishing and spending time with family.

He'll finish out his term, which runs through 2014.

Until then, Laurance says he has big goals for Douglas County, including making use of federal timber land while improving employment.

When his time is up, Laurance says he'll be where he always has been: in the phone book.