COLUMBIA — A lawyer for the Missouri State Public Defender Office entered the race for Northern District commissioner as a Democratic candidate Monday.
Janet M. Thompson, who has been working as a public lawyer since the mid '80s, filed papers to run for the Boone County Commission seat in the Aug. 7 primary election.
She said one of her top priorities is to ensure money is spent wisely and pointed to Battle High School, which is under construction, and the safety of the surrounding roads as an example.
"If you're in government, I think that any action has to be framed in part by a sense of fiscal responsibility," Thompson said. "The main thing with Battle High School is to ensure we have a plan to get people in and out of the school. That's something we need to address because you can have a wonderful school, but we must get the kids there safely."
Thompson, who grew up going to the Boone County Fair, also said the fairgrounds are valuable, and she would like to improve the property if elected.
"To me, that's one of the assets that should be cherished and our possibilities explored," Thompson said, adding that she had seen other facilities in the country positively influence the financial health of communities. "I think our fairgrounds have the potential to be that kind of asset for us here in Boone County."
Thompson plans to focus her campaign on communicating with the people of the Northern District.
"I think the commissioners have to be responsive to the people of the county and take their concerns into account as they develop plans for the future of Boone County," she said. "So I intend to go out and talk to the people of Boone County and listen to them."
Thompson lives on a farm north of Columbia with her mother, a retired physician. She attended Rock Bridge High School and earned two law degrees from MU.
"We have a wonderful county with enormous assets," Thompson said. "It's just going to be a question of working with the other commissioners and with the rest of the citizens of Boone County to find a way to maximize our potential."
Thompson is set to run against Darin Fugit and O.J. Stone for the Democratic nomination. The nominee will run against the Republican nominee for Northern District commissioner in November. Incumbent Skip Elkin is not seeking re-election.