Sedalian Jason D. Cunningham has challenged incumbent Jim Marcum as well as fellow newcomer Jack Robinson for the position of Pettis County Western Commissioner in the Aug. 2 primary election.
Since all three candidates are Republicans, the race will be decided in the primary.
Cunningham has worked for the county for the last five years and is a supervisor in the Pettis County Sheriff’s Office Corrections Division.
“I think the voters need to have a wide array of choices,” he said of why he decided to run for office. “Being born and raised in Sedalia, I want to make sure what’s the best for the future of Sedalia and Pettis County.”
He offered his take on the top issues facing the county in relation to the County Commission.
“I think the county needs to focus on allotting resources more to specific departments or agencies within the county. We need to focus on what we need, not what we want,” he said. “We need to make sure we keep our roads and bridges maintained. And just keeping the budget balanced the way it has been.”
Cunningham said he sees the main responsibility of a commissioner as helping to maintain the county’s roads and bridges.
“I want to see the quality improve of the roads, and the bridges of course,” he said. “It seems like every time we drive down a county road there’s always a pothole. I think that needs to be addressed and taken care of. “
He also offered his opinion on how to get projects done while staying within the budget.
“We would take a better look at what needs to be done, the bigger priority jobs first, not just what we want to get done,” he said.
If elected, Cunningham said his goals for office include “keeping the budget balanced the way it has been, making sure the voters know their concerns and comments are addressed. Of course, reducing wasteful spending.”
As for challenges in fulfilling the position, he said he thinks the toughest part of the job will be working on roads and bridges since it is such a large undertaking with so much maintenance needed.
“The compassion for the citizens is the main thing. Making sure that they’re happy with the way the county is running,” he said of why citizens should vote for him. “I plan on taking the county farther into the future by making sure we stay caught up with technology and everything else.”
Nicole Cooke can be reached at 660-530-0138 or @NicoleRCooke.