BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET) — With a near-record attendance, the North Dakota Association of County’s annual conference has kicked off.

The theme for this year’s conference is “All-Stars,” and according to the organizers, attendees are already living up to the title.

At the conference, members of county governments throughout the state participate in continuing education, as well as set policies for their respective areas. They also got to hear from keynote speaker Dave Raymond, the original Philie Phanatic — the mascot for the Philadelphia Phillies.

Outgoing president Steve Lee says this year’s conference theme highlights the outstanding service that members of county government give to our state.

“We often recognize certain people as being exceptional — and for various reasons, they are recognized — but our theme really is that everybody who works in county government is an all-star,” said Lee. “They keep the county running smoothly, and that keeps the state of North Dakota running smoothly.”

Because he has no challenger, the Association of County’s incoming president will be Jayme Tenneson. Tenneson is the current First-Vice President, as well as the state’s attorney for both Nelson County and Griggs County.