BENTONVILLE -- Jamie Sheppard is one of two Republican candidates for the District 15 seat on the Benton County Quorum Court.
Sheppard will face Joel Edwards, the incumbent, in the May 22 Republican Party primary. The winner will face Democratic party candidate Asele Mack in the Nov. 6 general election.
Sheppard, 36, of Centerton, has lived in Benton County for 24 years and in District 15 for two years. She is a vendor with FeraDyne Outdoors.
She has a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Southern New Hampshire University. She has worked for five years as a deputy sheriff for the Benton County Sheriff's Office where her husband, Sgt. John Sheppard, still works.
Sheppard said she has long been interested in local government but couldn't run for a county office while employed by the Sheriff's Office.
"I really got involved because I want to have a voice in the decisions that affect county residents," she said.
She said she chose to run for justice of the peace because of the direct effect county government has on rural residents.
"The Quorum Court is the heart of the county," she said. "They make the most pertinent decisions. I want to make sure the whole county is up to par."
Sheppard said county roads will always be an important issue for the rural areas.
The proposed new $30 million courts building is a major issue facing the county, Sheppard said.
"We know we need it. We want it. But how are we going to pay for it?" she asked.
Sheppard said she doesn't want to see budget cuts if it means reducing services and she is wary of any tax increase to pay for the new building.
"It's got to be the right thing for the people," she said. "You've got to show them why it's the right thing for the county."
Justices of the peace are paid on a per-meeting basis -- $230.51 for Quorum Court and Committee of the Whole meetings and $144.08 for other committees they are members of -- and serve two-year terms.
NW News on 03/08/2018
Print Headline: Sheppard a candidate for District 15 seat on Benton County Quorum Court