Press Enter to show all options, press Tab go to next option

County Commissioner Ellen Reckhow Will Not Run for Re-election

Post Date:11/13/2019

Durham, NC - Durham County Commissioner Ellen Reckhow announced Tuesday evening that she has decided not to run for re-election in 2020. Reckhow, who was first elected in 1988 and served as chair during Durham’s significant transformation and growth, fondly reflected on her major accomplishments during her time in office.


In a prepared statement Reckhow said, “When I was elected, my children were the ages of two of my four grandchildren – four and eight years old. Now, after a generation of service, it is time to focus more on family and special interests. As a founder of the East Durham Children’s Initiative, helping all our children succeed in life is a passion for me.”


Commissioner Reckhow served as Chair of the Board of County Commissioners from 2002-2008, and as Vice Chair of the Board from 1994­ - 2002 and 2008 -­ 2012. In addition to her work locally, Commissioner Reckhow has held several critical committee assignments with the National Association of Counties (NACo) and has served as District Chair and as various Steering Committee Chairs with the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners (NCACC). This work has helped inform major public policy initiatives.


During her tenure, Reckhow was respected for her preparation and keen understanding of the various issues that emerged. Whether collaborating with the private sector to create broad reaching economic success for the community and region, or balancing growth while protecting our natural areas, or prioritizing education for our citizens to build a strong cradle to career continuum Commissioner Reckhow, worked tirelessly on each emerging issue.


In characterizing her experience as a county commissioner and the Board’s continued focus on education she noted, “We were one of the first counties to pass a ¼ cent sales tax dedicated to creating a strong educational continuum by funding Pre-K expansion, K – 12 support, and providing funds for scholarships at Durham Tech for any high school graduate in Durham County.”


Commissioner Reckhow has received numerous local, regional and state awards including the Goodmon Award for Exemplary Regional Leadership by an Elected Official, the North Carolina Planning Association Elected Official of the Year, the Sierra Club Environmental Leadership Award, an Eisenhower Fellowship, as well as the Dorothy B. Graham Child Care Services Award to name a few.


Reckhow described public service as a family trait, citing her father’s work as a doctor who took care of sick children at three elementary schools in her hometown, and her mother’s work as a teacher, library board member and member of town council. She added, “Campaigning has always been a family affair with my husband and children helping out in a variety of ways. Without their strong encouragement and support, I would not have lasted this long.”


Finally, Reckhow concluded by saying, “Even after I leave this board, I hope to find ways to contribute to this Durham community that I love.” She will continue to serve the citizens of Durham County until late 2020 when a new Board is sworn into office.


Durham Board of County Commissioners members serve a four-year term. The filing period for the 2020 Election opens December 2 at noon.


Please see this link to Commissioner Ellen Reckhow’s full statement:




Return to full list >>