Two Lincoln men balance out the ballot for representative
David Meade (pictured) and Jerry Shelton, both from Lincoln County, will face two Republicans from Mt. Vernon in May to determine who will represent the 80th District in Frankfort.
Last week, The Interior Journal profiled Roger Coldiron and Mark Eaton, the two Mt. Vernon men running to represent the 80th District in Frankfort and this week it is the two Lincoln County candidates’ turn. All four candidates are Republicans, and with no Democrat challengers, whoever wins the May 22nd primary will be the county’s representative in Frankfort.
David Meade, 35, of Stanford, is a newcomer to politics. The married, father of one son, is an auctioneer and realtor with Lincoln Realty who worked in the industrial electrical field for nine years after earning a degree in electrical engineering technology from UK.
The candidate, who serves on the executive board of the Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce, is a founder of and serves on the board of directors of a Guatemalan home for abandoned, abused and poverty stricken children and is in the process of adopting a child.
Meade describes himself as a fiscal conservative that is pro-life and pro-2nd Amendment. “We have got to cut cost and cut spending,” Meade said. “The government should never be allowed to interfere with our rights to bear arms as they exist under the constitution.”
Meade said that, if elected, one of his top priorities is job creation. “A lot of people are talking about job creation, and the question is, how do you bring industry back to our state?” he said. “I want to take a hard look at our corporate tax rate and incentives for new businesses.” On his campaign website, Meade says, “Our government has to stop taxing and regulating the small business owners and allow us to do what we are in business to do, provide a living for our families.”
But the Lincoln County High School grad is realistic. “No matter who gets this position, the fact of the matter is that the first two-year term is about building relationships needed to be effective and learning the job,” Meade said. “No one can keep campaign promises, I want people to know that I will be there to represent Lincoln County and it’s values.”
Jerry Shelton Farmer/Construction
Crab Orchard’s Jerry Shelton takes a different view on a first term representative’s role in Frankfort. “With the tough economic situation we find ourselves in, now is not the time for on the job training,” he said.
Shelton, a married father of two and grandfather, is citing his experience on the Crab Orchard City Council, his farming background and duties as the chair of the county’s Republican Party as giving him the necessary experience to work effectively in Frankfort.
Shelton, 53, graduated from Lincoln County High School in 1976 and said he has been self-employed most of his life, farming and running a residential and commercial construction business, but Shelton said that it is his experience serving on the board of the Cattlemen’s Association and as a councilman that set him apart. “The other guys running are all fine gentlemen, but I know how thing work,” Shelton said. Shelton said that many people don’t know how costly sewer systems can be, like the one proposed for Hustonville, but that his experience as Water and Sewer Commissioner on the Crab Orchard Council taught him a lot.
Shelton said, if elected, he would try to control the state’s three biggest expenses, Medicaid, education and state retirement. “A man can start working for the state or county at 20 and retire at 45. He might draw 35-years of retirement. That’s good for the him, but bad for the taxpayer. We have to do something about that,” he said. “Those three things are taking all our money and we can’t spend it on things we need like road and sewer projects.
At the same time, Shelton wants to protect state spending on school family resource centers. Shelton has served on the Crab Orchard Elementary School Family Resource Center Board for over two decades.