COLUMBIA — Two relatively new candidates filed to run for the Boone County Commission on Tuesday, the first day candidates could do so for the Aug. 7 primary election.
James B. Pounds
James B. Pounds, a Republican and first-time candidate, is running for Southern District commissioner. He said his top priority is to reduce spending.
"There's been quite a budget shortfall in the last five years, and they haven't done anything to stop it," Pounds said. "I want to get government spending under control."
Pounds owns and operates James Pounds Construction, which has built many homes around Columbia. He said he has some concerns about how the county deals with people in his line of work.
"For one thing, the construction industry is over regulated," Pounds said. "We have a bunch of regulations that add a lot of cost with no value."
One of the first things Pounds would do if elected is sit down with the heads of each department and review funding records, he said. His goal is to ease the burden on taxpayers.
"I'd go and look at ways we can save money."
If Pounds, 45, wins the Republican nomination, he would run against Democratic incumbent Karen Miller, unless another Democrat were to defeat her in the primary. Miller has been Southern District commissioner since 1993. She announced in October that she would seek another term.
Pounds was born in Boone County and lives in Columbia with his wife, son and daughter. He was in the Navy for three years and attended a community college in Wyoming.
Darin Fugit, a Democrat, is running for Northern District commissioner.
He said his top priority will be to keep in touch with constituents.
"The main thing is to be available to the people of the Northern District," Fugit said. "They want the views of the Northern District to be heard and made a priority in the future."
He works as a courier for the MU Women's and Children's Hospital, but previously served as the deputy county clerk for 15 years. He also worked as a real estate broker for five years. Fugit also served for five years on the Boone County Planning and Zoning Commission.
"They're discussing road problems, such as on Ponderosa (Street) and on the St. Charles Road, where the new high school is being built," Fugit said. "That's where my experience on the Planning and Zoning Commission could come in handy."
Fugit earned a degree in agriculture at MU and lives in northern Columbia with his twin sons.
He previously ran in 2000 for the county commission.
Northern District Commissioner Skip Elkin has decided not to seek re-election. Thus far, Fugit is the only Democrat to file for the position. Republicans Don Bormann, a Centralia alderman, and Lance Robbins, a Boone County sheriff's sergeant, announced earlier that they would seek their party's nomination for the job.
Fugit is set to run against the winner of two Republicans who will battle for the nomination.