Mayoral candidate Eric Jenkins seeks election

Sarah Fulton, managing editor

A self-described conservative, mayoral candidate Eric Jenkins decided to run for mayor when the topic came up in a meeting.

“I was in a meeting of people that were talking about gee whiz, who is going to run for mayor of Shawnee,” Jenkins said. “I said I would. I would be willing to do that. I do think I have the time, I do think I have the skill set.”

Jenkins believes that, because he is retired, he could serve Shawnee by being a full-time mayor.

“I have been thinking about it for a long time, but I didn’t have the opportunity to do that because I am so busy. It is hard to have two careers at once,” Jenkins said. “I plan on being mayor every single day. I want to get out into the community every single day… I want to be a real interactive kind of mayor… I want to make it so that people can find me.”

Along with his ability to be a full-time mayor, Jenkins believes that his past experiences will serve him well if elected. Jenkins spent 30 years with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and is a retired colonel with the United States Army. He has served on the Shawnee Planning Commission for 21 years and recently served on the Johnson County Charter commission.

“That is high level stuff. Most people don’t mess with that kind of thing. I have been in high level jobs. So it wasn’t like I am just a wonderful person,” Jenkins said. “The experiences I have had have just been tremendous. It gives you an idea of how things work.”

Jenkins believes that, along with transparency of government, fiscal discipline and safety are the major issues facing Shawnee during this election.

“I want to see some fiscal responsibility. I think we sometimes confuse wants and needs. There are things that you have to do but there are some things that you don’t have to do. That is where you can really save a lot of money,” Jenkins said. “Safety is the most important obligation of government to its citizens. It is a prime directive. Failure to protect your citizens is the most serious failure a city can have.”

Overall, Jenkins believes his chances of winning are “solid.”

“My background and my availability, those two factors really set me completely apart from them [my competitors],” Jenkins said. “I would like the people of Shawnee to have a chance to try me out because I think they would be really pleased.”

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