Friday, June 21, 2024

Hitselberger running for Lincoln County Commissioner

Joe Hitselberger
Joe Hitselberger

Thirty-nine-year-old Newport resident Joe Hitselberger has filed to run for Lincoln County Commissioner, opposing the incumbent, Claire Hall.

Hitselberger said he grew up in Lincoln County with his family running a farm near Seal Rock. He is an Oregon State University graduate, holding degrees in Animal Science and Fisheries & Wildlife. Hitselberger moved to Alaska for a few years and took a job as a habitat biologist with Alaska’s Department of Fish and Game.

He moved back to Lincoln County and began working for the Department of Forestry up until he and his wife, Taryn, opened their own business. Wolf Tree Brewery started off small at first, Hitselberger said, only brewing a couple of kegs a week, but has since expanded distribution, delivering beer up and down the West Coast. Wolf Tree Brewery has an award-winning “Spruce Tip Ale” as their flagship beer and was recently featured in a Willamette Week article.

Joe Hitselberger Lincoln County Commissioner
(Photo by Martin Cizmar)

Hitselberger said his wife has been a great help during his campaign.

“My wife is incredibly supportive,” he said. “She’s an integral part of the business and she supports my political aspirations. She’s my biggest supporter for sure.”

He and his wife are also expecting a new child.

“I have a vested interest in the community with a baby boy on the way and as a business owner,” he said. “If I’m elected, I want to work hard and do what I can for the community.”

Asked why he wants to run for County Commissioner, Hitselberger said:

“Politics is something I’ve been interested in for awhile. I think that being on the Board of Commissioners is a great opportunity to help shape Lincoln County for the next decade.

“The County has seen a lot of growth and change and I think the leadership needs to change as well.

“We can’t have people on the board for 20 years. We have to change and grow.”

Hitselberger ran for the County Commissioner seat once before in 2014, but lost to incumbent Terry Thompson in a race that featured two other candidates, one of which was current Lincoln City Mayor Dick Anderson. Thompson was defeated by lifelong friend, Kaety Jacobson in 2018.

Hitselberger said he wants to be visible and is trying to “get out there” and show why he can be a benefit to Lincoln County. He plans to attend meetings and candidates forums so the public gets a chance to meet him. He also maintains a Facebook page, Joe Hitselberger for County Commissioner.

Lincoln County Commissioner Position 2 — a four-year-term — will be on the ballot May 19 for the Primary Election. Also running for the seat is David M. Davis, Edward M. Johnston and Betty Kamikawa. Claire Hall is the incumbent.

Justin Werner
Justin Werner
Justin Werner is the founder and editor of the Lincoln City Homepage, a trusted source of local news and information for residents and visitors of Lincoln City, Oregon. He is also a community leader, entrepreneur, and dedicated advocate for transparency and accountability in local government.


  1. We need to get new ideas coming in in all Government positions. Years of the same ideas get stagnant and don’t evolve fast enough with the changing times. Lincoln County has been my home for 63 years! Would like to hear more about your thoughts.

  2. I would like to know how you feel about issues. Bio -Solids for example. Great you grew up here. What do you plan to make sure others quality of life is as good as yours ?

  3. What specifically about biosolids are you concerned with. My experience with them has been related to agricultural use. Short answer is I think biosolids can be beneficial in some applications but I am sure there are problem associated with their use.

    Having a commissioner that is invested in this community is critical. Our current leadership seems out of touch and some of them have aspirations for higher office. I think that’s great, but really shows me where their priorities are. I do plan to make a difference and hopefully bring a new set of ideas to the table.

  4. Buster- Thanks for the comment. Below is some additional information about me and what I am all about.

    I am running for Lincoln County Commissioner because I have educational and work experiences which make me uniquely suited to the management of the rich resources of our County, and because we need a fresh perspective that I can bring to the table. I have spent much of my life living and working in Lincoln County. My wife, Taryn and I look forward to raising our family here. We are invested in the financial, educational, and environmental well-being of Lincoln County. I know our community can do better.

    While working for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game as a Biologist, I was the lead for all trans-boundary mine development in Southeast Alaska. I coordinated department response for timber sales on the Tongass National Forest, and I was the oil spill coordinator for the department. I worked with local, state, federal, and tribal agencies, and I successfully managed many politically, and environmentally contentious issues.

    As a Stewardship Forester for the Oregon Department of Forestry, I helped landowners, local governments and watershed councils achieve their goals related to the Forest Practices Act. While at the Department of Forestry, I was also one of the lead Wildland Fire Investigators for the State.

    My wife Taryn and I currently own and operate a local microbrewery. What started as a hobby, our brewery business has grown to multiple locations and distribution in three states. This experience has allowed me to understand both governmental issues and small business concerns in our community.

    Education, housing, and resource management are forefront issues for our community. The Board of Commissioners and our County deserve more. I can bring a new, common-sense perspective to the issues we face in Lincoln County, and I respectfully ask for your vote.


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