San Juan County Clerk John David Nielson to resign in July after serving more than six years

John David Nielson has submitted his resignation as San Juan County Clerk/Auditor.

In a letter presented to Commissioners on June 23, Nielson explained, “I feel that it is the right thing to do for myself and for my family as I move on to the next chapter of my life.”

Nielson has accepted a job in Spanish Fork, UT to work for an accounting firm.

July 14 will be his last day in office in San Juan County.

Nielson has served as San Juan County Clerk since January, 2015.

He was elected to a second four-year term in 2017 and has 18 months remaining on his current term.

“This was not an easy decision,” said Nielson.  “Making the difficult decision to resign has been thought and considered over several weeks.”

“Working as the clerk has been challenging and rewarding. I have learned many lessons, grown in my knowledge of government, and as a person. 

“It has been a privilege to serve, to the best of my abilities, the citizens of San Juan County.”

As chief election officer for the county, Nielson oversaw a series of contentious elections that were carefully monitored by state and federal officials, in addition to observers from a variety of private organizations. 

Voting districts were redrawn after a lengthy legal battle that was triggered when the 2010 US Census showed that Native Americans were a majority of the San Juan County population.

The county – and clerk’s office – was the focus of a number of legal actions as the Navajo Nation and American Civil Liberties Union pursued voting rights claims.

Over Nielson’s time as clerk, the number of voters on the rolls grew dramatically, as did voter turnout.

Nielson grew up and attended local schools in Blanding. He spent the past 17 years in Monticello, with work experience at Zions Bank and San Juan County.

In his resignation letter to Commissioners, Nielson wrote, “My roots are in San Juan County. I have lived almost my entire life here and will always call San Juan County home.”

It is expected that Deputy Clerk James Francom will fill the position on an interim basis. 

Within 30 days of Nielson’s resignation, the Republican party is expected to name a replacement who will serve until the next county-wide election in 2022.

San Juan Record

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