HARRISBURG — Saline County Clerk Roger Craig died Wednesday morning, less than two weeks into his term.
Craig, 57, ran against incumbent Kim Buchanan in the Republican Primary Election in March. At the time, he cited the battle between Buchanan and the county board as his reason for entering the race.
Craig used his short time in office to fulfill one of the campaign promises he made, restoring Julie Dunn and Kathy Cummins to their jobs in the county clerk’s office during his first day. The two women were fired by Buchanan in April. After filing a grievance, they were given other positions in the county, but Craig promised to bring them back to the county clerk’s office if he was elected.
Republican County Chairman Robert Holmes said Craig started his service to the county as a trustee for Harrisburg Township. When Danny Ragan died, Craig was appointed township clerk. Then, he stepped up to serve on Saline County Board.
“I forget how many years he’s served on the county board,” Holmes said. “We have lost a fine person. We are all going to have to answer that call someday. We have to be ready.”
Jay Williams, chairman of Saline County Board, said Craig was the go-to person on Saline County board because he would put in the time and effort to complete a task. When Williams needed something done, he would look at the board as a group, and time and time again, Craig was the one he asked.
“If you ever wanted something to get done, that is who you went to. He was a hard worker. I just know him as that way,” Williams said.
He added that Craig worked hard for the taxpayers of Saline County and would have made a great county clerk.
“We are going to miss him. The taxpayers are going to miss him. We couldn’t wait to get him in that office,” Williams said.
Williams added that when Craig was ill, no one could really tell. He was in every meeting of the board and the road and bridge committee of the county highway department. Adding that Craig only missed the last few meetings.
Craig also was U.S. Monopoly Champion from 1995 to 1999. He went to Monte Carlo to compete in world championships, losing in the final round.
"Roger has been a big part of the Monopoly Tournament since I can remember. I've noticed over the years, many newcomers asking for his expert advice. He was always glad to help whether it was before the tournament or helping those at his table,” said Jennifer Cain, of Harrisburg Elks. “He will be greatly missed by all of us at the Harrisburg Elks Lodge 1058."
Memorial services for Craig will be at 1 p.m. Saturday in Reed Funeral Chapel in Harrisburg, with visitation from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the funeral home.