JANESVILLE, Wis. - After 20 years, a big part of Eva Arnold's 91 years living in Rock County will come to a close after this April's election.
The longtime county board supervisor, who represents District 6, won't run for re-election.
"I can't imagine what it's going to be like (after April)," Arnold said. "(It) brings tears to my eyes."
The self-described "farmer by birth and farmer by choice" hails from the Town of Turtle, but health issues recently required a move to a Janesville senior home out of her district.
That move meant she was unable to run for re-election in her district, which consists of wards in both the town and city of Beloit, plus her home in the town of Turtle.
"It's really hard giving up what I had, but there comes a time," Arnold said.
Arnold is a graduate of UW-Rock County and Beloit College, and served as an English teacher at Beloit Memorial High School.
Arnold was elected to the county board in 1998; she said fighting for land conservation was her signature issue on the board.
She has also served on the state's Board on Aging and Long Term Care.
Arnold said, above all, she'll miss the people she's had the opportunity to work with over the past 20 years.
"I loved the people that I worked with, I loved the job that I did," Arnold said.
One thing Arnold said she won't miss about being an elected official is the campaigning.
"The last year, I had to have (my daughter) go with me, driving the car, because you have to get so many signatures," she said.
She had this advice to those seeking public office: "(Listen) to the people. The people have problems, and they want you to help and by golly, you better do what you can."
Arnold said she plans to spend her time bird watching, playing sudoku and recuperating from her health issues.
Two candidates are vying to replace her in the April 3 election -- Evelyn Propp and Robert Potter. Arnold described both as "good people."
Still, she said, life will feel a bit empty not serving on the board.
"I'm going to miss it so much," Arnold said.
Arnold has two children, three grandchildren, six great-grandchildren and one great-great grandson.
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