James Pounds leads grassroots campaign for Commissioner President

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When Republican nominee for Boone County Presiding Commissioner James Pounds appeared at the recent League of Women Voters forum, his message of wanting to cut taxes and review government regulations amid rising costs was clear.

Pounds, longtime owner of his eponymous construction company, brings this post back with a construction analogy about adding scope and detail to projects.

“You add a cost to it. Unfortunately, a lot of that cost has no value in the eyes of an appraiser or in the eyes of a bank,” Pounds said. “All it is is just an added cost.”

Pounds will face Connie Leipard on the Boone County President’s Commissioner Republican ticket on August 2. The winner will qualify for the general election in November, where Democratic candidate Kip Kendrick, uncontested in the primary, will wait. The deadline for independent candidates to file an election petition is August 1.

A major point that Pounds is touting in his run for presiding commissioner is that he is not a professional politician.

“I feel like I have a good grasp of just talking to my neighbors and friends in Boone County,” he said. “I run my campaign as a grassroots campaign.”

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It focuses on talking to people, whether at their doorsteps or at organizational meetings, such as the county Republican committee.

He did not raise any money or spend any money on advertising, he said.

“I’ve had a lot of success with this (strategy) in the past and that’s how I like to do it,” Pounds said. “…I meet as many people as I can. Everyone who invited me to come talk to them, I’m beyond thrilled. I’ve met several different groups.”

Pounds wants to find ways to remove regulations he deems unnecessary, continuing his analogy to development and building codes, saying safety oversight is necessary, but ‘there’s a lot of stuff in code today’ today that have nothing to do with security”.

“They’re there to appease a builder or an insurance company,” he said. “I think a lot of our code is broken.”

James Pounds explains why he's running for Boone County President.

Even with cutback plans, Pounds wants to look at some areas to fund restoration, such as road and bridge maintenance. Addressing roads and housing development “would go a long way to solving many of our issues here in Boone County,” he said.

If elected, he plans to treat everyone who enters the commission equally, he said.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re Stan Kroenke or John Smith sweeping the streets of Broadway. Everyone walks in on the same level,” Pounds said.

His conviction remains after three previous campaigns for a commission seat.

“Hopefully this time maybe people will listen a little closer,” he said.

Charles Dunlap covers local government, community stories and other general topics for the Tribune. You can reach him at cdunlap@columbiatribune.com or @CD_CDT on Twitter. Please consider subscribing to support vital local journalism.

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