Pettis County Eastern Commissioner candidate Darrell Slaughter has challenged incumbent Brent Hampy, of Smithton, in the Aug. 2 primary election.
The two Republicans will face off next week, and the winner will then face Democrat Charles McCormack, of Sedalia, in the Nov. 8 general election.
The Democrat has previously listed Slaughter as living in Marshall, and he pointed out that while his mailing address is Marshall, he actually lives in northeast Pettis County.
Slaughter has worked for the Pettis County Road and Bridge Department for 10 years and has managed and operated his own businesses for more than 30 years. He said he decided to run for the office of commissioner because he thinks he can help improve the county and his firsthand experience allows him to know what needs to be done in the community.
He said the top issues facing the county center around road and bridge maintenance.
“The top issues on the road and bridge end of it is the excessive amount of rain and stuff we’ve had in the past, it’s destroyed our roads,” he said. “That’s a priority now is trying to get the roads and bridges back up to good shape again.”
Slaughter said he sees the main responsibilities of a county commissioner as making sure the county is taken care of.
“The roads and bridges, stay in compliance with the budget, try to take all the complaints from the community and listen to them and try to fix anything that we can fix. Just take care of the county,” he said.
When it comes to specific goals for Pettis County’s roads and bridges, he brought up a common idea: more hard surface roads.
“I would like to see some more hard surface roads put in,” Slaughter said. “A place I feel really needs something done is Sigmund Circle, off of Pleasant Hill and Walnut School. Try to connect the roads on around so the people in Sigmund Circle have a way to come out on a hard surface road, and just maintain the roads we got. The hard surface roads, keep them in good shape.”
To help the county stay within its Road and Bridge budget, Slaughter said the commissioners would need to be conservative on how the funds are used, “continue to do what we’re doing and hope the income from our taxes and everything, hope that it increases, which it will.”
His goals for office include being an honest and truthful commissioner and continuing to maintain and repair the roads. He said a challenge would be staying within the budget for bridges since there are several county bridges in need of repair and natural disasters have been using up a large portion of money.
“I think I’m well qualified to do the job,” he said of why citizens should vote for him. “I’ve been involved in Road and Bridge for the last 10 years so I know what it takes to build the roads. I’ve been out building the roads for the last 10 years, on-hand. I’m well qualified to do the budget work. I’m just well qualified do anything, the managing part of it, I had my own businesses so I can manage.”
Nicole Cooke can be reached at 660-530-0138 or @NicoleRCooke.