Kopsa mounts independent write-in candidacy for supervisor

LJ Kopsa
Robert Maharry
The Grundy Register

BEAMAN- It shouldn’t surprise anyone that LJ Kopsa is running for county supervisor in district one. The 1988 BCL-UW graduate has already served as a city councilman and mayor in his native Beaman, he’s been on the school board at his alma mater since 2014 and his mother Helen previously held the same seat that he’s now vying for in the upcoming election.


He had originally planned to wait until current supervisor Jim Ross stepped down, but after Ross’s recent loss to political newcomer Lucas Halverson in the Republican primary, Kopsa, a farmer and construction company owner by trade, has decided to mount an independent write-in candidacy for the seat.


“I’ve always been interested in it because, as you know, my mom was a county supervisor in the ‘80s, and she would always come home and talk about everything at the last meeting and all the different committees she was on and stuff like that. So I grew up knowing about the position,” he said. “It always interested me, and I thought, ‘Well, someday, that would be the job for me.’”


In an interview with The Grundy Register, Kopsa shared concerns about a predicted loss of revenues at the state level due to the COVID-19 pandemic and worried that the associated costs may be passed down to counties and cities as a result. He added that he would closely scrutinize financial decisions if he were to be elected in November.


“I like to ask questions. I like to know where our money’s going and why it’s going there,” he said. “It doesn’t hurt to ask questions and to get the answers you need because you’re dealing with public funds. It’s not my money. It’s our money. So you make sure you’re asking the right questions rather than letting somebody just fleece you.”


Echoing a common refrain among local candidates during the 2020 cycle, Kopsa said that roads would be a top priority if he were to take office, specifically keeping gravel roads adequately rocked and focusing on paving projects.


On the topic of the Grundy Road project and paving more gravel roads in general, Kopsa opined that the board would have to assess what it can afford.


“In a perfect world, paving every single road would be wonderful, but it’s not economically feasible,” he said. “I think we just need to make sure we keep up with what we have for right now, and if somewhere down the road, something changes where we see a need to pave a heavily traveled gravel road, then that’s something we deal with at the time.”


On another familiar topic, Kopsa called wind turbines a “double-edged sword” because he’s not personally a fan of them and doesn’t see the economic benefits but supports the rights of property owners to make decisions in their own best interest.


In formally announcing his candidacy, Kopsa sought to clarify that he had always planned to run for supervisor someday but wanted to wait until Ross left office to do so. He identifies as a Republican but will be running as an independent, and voters will be required to write in his name on the ballot come November.


“I have nothing against Lucas. I think he’s a great young man, I really do,” Kopsa said. “But I feel that I have the experience we need, and I’m going to be here for the first six months of the term, where he won’t. That’s when the budgets are set and things like that, and missing out on that, I just don’t think there’s any way to get caught up on that.”


The latter half of Kopsa’s quote referred to the fact that Halverson, a 2019 BCLUW High School graduate, is currently deployed with the Army National Guard and is not scheduled to return until May of 2021.


Due to the ongoing pandemic, Kopsa plans to reach prospective voters through methods like social media, newspaper advertising, yard signs, mailers and pens between now and election day.


“I understand a lot of people aren’t going to want me walking up to their door, shaking their hands and introducing myself, so I think we’re just going to have to do a lot more on the street type of stuff,” he said.


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