FARMINGTON — Franklin County Commissioner Clyde Barker said Monday that he will resign June 2 because of his health.

Franklin County Commissioner Clyde Barker of Strong will resign his position as of June 2 because of health reasons. He has served District 3 for 12 years. Donna M. Perry/Sun Journal file

“I did want to finish my term. I just can’t,” Barker said. His term expires Dec. 31.

The 81-year-old resident of Strong said he has critical congestive heart failure.

“I have been pushing it,” he said. “I want somebody younger and stronger than me to take over.”

Barker joined the commission Jan. 1, 2011, and has served for 12 years. He decided in March not to seek a fourth term.

He and his family discussed his situation and made the decision he needed to resign.


“I can’t fight it any longer,” he said. “It was probably the hardest decision I ever made in my life was giving up my commissioner’s position. I have enjoyed the people. A lot of them need help.”

Barker has been participating in commission meetings via Zoom from his home.

He represents District 3, which covers a wide area of Franklin County from Industry to Rangeley and Carrabassett Valley, along with a majority of the unorganized territory.

The last time the commission had a vacancy was after Fred Hardy of New Sharon died in 2015. The Franklin County Republican Committee met to consider nominations to submit to Gov. Paul LePage. Four people were nominated and Charles Webster of Farmington was appointed to represent District 2 and later was elected.

It is anticipated the committee will give Gov. Janet Mills nominations for a commissioner to represent District 3 until Dec. 31. The nominees have to live in the district.

“It has to be a Republican,” Barker, a Republican, said.

Two candidates, Freeman Township residents Robert S. Carlton, a Republican, and Elizabeth A. Listowich, a Democrat, have submitted papers to have their names on the ballot for the June 14 state primary election.

Barker served in a variety of positions for 47 years for the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office. He also was the county’s Emergency Management Agency director for about 13 years and saw the county safely through the 1998 ice storm.

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