Mt. Vernon Register-News

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March 13, 2014

Candidates seek last-minute votes

(Continued)

MT. VERNON — —

White said he appreciated being "schooled by my opponent at to how things work in Springfield. While she was building coalitions up there and losing county board races down here, I was actually running for county board and being elected chairman and getting things done down here in the trenches."

Bryant responded that she ran in Jackson County because there were no other party candidates and she lost by fewer than 200 votes.

Regional Office of Education candidates are Keri Garrett, the current ROE for Clinton, Washington and Marion counties; Ron Daniels, the current ROE for Hamilton and Jefferson counties; and Jacob Purcell, an administrator for the Kaskaskia Special Education District.

Each candidate listed their qualifications for the position, which expands the new ROE district into Garrett's three counties, plus Jefferson. Hamilton County will be included in a district further to the south.

Garrett said school funding continues to be a "huge issue," and she wants to continue to help and advocate for schools since legislators are working on new funding formulas.

Daniels said he has had to deal with reducing staff and expenses, indicating he wants to continue to provide professional development, along with providing services by the ROE's office to area school districts.

In answering a question about future school consolidation, Purcell said, "The hardest thing to kill is the school mascot. It (consolidation) should be a local decision."

Daniels said consolidation may be necessary for some school districts, adding that each situation needs to be assessed "with the best quality of education provided."

Sheriff candidates attending included: Democrat incumbent Roger Mulch, Joey Porter and Travis Allen. Republican candidates are John Lewis, John Scott and David Morris.

Mulch has worked in the sheriff's department for 34 years, and was elected as sheriff in 2002.

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