“Choices” is a key element of the campaign of Jenna Lea Booth, who seeks the Democrat nomination for presiding commissioner of Newton County in the Aug. 5 primary elections.
Booth, who has worked in the Newton County assessor’s office for 22 years, said the main reason she decided to mount her first-ever run for public office was to give people choices.
“It seems like you go to the polls anymore, and people are kind of getting dumbed down because they don’t have to think about who to vote for, or they don’t have to do any research to find out what each person stands for,” she said. “I just think it’s important that we make people start thinking a little bit.”
Booth noted that she has two little grandchildren, and she wants them to know that it’s never too late to try something.
“Just get out there and try it,” she said. “You may fail, but at least you tried, and I think that is an important lesson for children to learn.”
Booth said the responsibilities of county commissioner are for roads and bridges, the budget, and maintenance and upkeep of the buildings and grounds owned by Newton County.
“I will be honest,” she said, “I haven’t had any dealings with roads and bridges. I do know that when I’ve been out, that seems to be the main thing that people are concerned about, and I don’t think it’s explained very well to people how it exactly works.”
Booth said the county does put in money toward roads, but each of the various road districts around the county have a levy.
“That’s where most of the money comes from for repairs on their roads,” she said. “Sometimes there’s only so much money there to get stuff done, and I just think it’s a matter of common sense, I don’t think you have to be a brain surgeon to figure some of this stuff out, you just have to be able to work with people and hear their concerns and figure out how you can best serve their concerns.”
Booth said her core issue of importance is to make sure the people of Newton County know that the courthouse is theirs.
“It is their government, it doesn’t belong to anyone down here,” she said. “The people here are just here to serve the taxpayers and to make sure that they feel that if they walk in the door that no matter what I am doing, I can take time out and talk to someone about something. To me that’s the most important part, nothing else is more important than communications with the taxpayers. They are our boss!”
Booth said she is not the only person who has the answers or who can solve the county’s problems.
“But I know that I care very, very much, because I have served the people here in a capacity where I have tried to be very helpful, and I think that’s the main thing,” she said. “If you care enough, that’s going to make you qualified, if you are willing to get out there and learn and to try.”
If you vote for Jenna Lea Booth, she promised, “I just want them to know that I really do care, and I really will try very, very hard to put their best interests first.”
Booth is opposed by J.C. Herrell for the Democrat nomination in next week’s primary elections. The winner will move on to the November general elections, where they will face the incumbent Newton County presiding commissioner, Marilyn Ruestman, who is unopposed in next week’s Republican primary.