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Doug Ingles is running for Dis­trict 1 County Com­mis­sioner in the 2020 election. | Facebook

Longtime Hillsdale res­ident and former mayor Doug Ingles will chal­lenge County Com­mis­sioner Ruth Brown for the Dis­trict 1 County Com­mis­sioner seat in 2020.

Ingles moved from coun­cilmember, to mayor pro tem, to mayor in the 1990s. Ingles said he missed public service after his term as mayor, but he did not have the time to commit to it until now.

“During that time as mayor, my business suf­fered, but things are healthy now. My son was young and then I had to take care of my dad,” Ingles said. “But my dad has passed away now and my son is grown. I have time, and I still have the fire, so this is a ter­rific oppor­tunity and the timing is right.”

Ingles said he also con­sidered running for state rep­re­sen­tative but decided to run as com­mis­sioner instead because he wanted to stay in Hillsdale near the people and his family.

Ingles runs and owns the Stadium Roller Rink in Hillsdale, Michigan. The rink has been a family business since 1956 when Ingles was 2 years old. Skating is an integral part of Ingles’ family, for his parents met at the Arena Gardens skating rink in Detroit.

“Back in those days, the rink was a place to go out,” Ingles said. “Guys would wear a suit coat and tie to the rink and the girls would wear dresses, it was like ballroom dancing on skates.”

Ingles began skating at the age of 2 and even­tually pur­chased the rink from his retiring father in 1996.

Today, Ingles says roller skating is still his favorite thing to do.

“I get up in the morning, and I rub my hands together, and I put a big smile on my face because I get to go to the roller rink,” Ingles said.

Ingles says his habit of roller skating throughout the workday has helped him become more effi­cient in his other man­agement work at the rink. 

Addi­tionally, the act of skating helped him recover from the loss of his father and even lose 30 pounds.

The roller skating rink is also where Ingles met his wife, Sherri Ingles, in the late 1980s. It wasn’t until about 15 years ago, however, that the two reunited and got married.

Sherri Ingles said she’s been encour­aging her husband to return to public service for a while now.

“Doug has the time to devote to it, so I think he’ll do a fan­tastic job,” Ingles said. “He’s ded­i­cated, honest, and hard­working. And he wants the best for his com­munity.”

Ingles will be running against Brown, who has held the office since 2014.

Brown said she plans to run again and con­tinue her efforts to improve gov­ernment facil­ities and county employee pay.

“I’m a big pro­ponent of department-head meetings and open com­mu­ni­cation with our employees,” Brown said. “We are also trying to be proactive instead of reactive with our budget, to look ahead and know what we’ll need in the next three or four years.”

On his cam­paign Facebook page, Ingles said his decision to run is nothing per­sonal with Brown. 

“It is unfor­tunate that we both live in the same dis­trict,” Ingles said. “My interest in public service is strong. Timing is every­thing; now is the time because I have the time.”