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Mayor, council and city attorney races on April 4 ballot

Mayor

Two current Farmington City Council members are running for mayor. The term is for four years. Dennis Smith and Larry Forsythe are running for the office.

Dennis Smith

Dennis Smith, 62, has served 14 years as the councilman for Ward III and seven years as Mayor Pro Tem.

Smith served 23 years U.S. Army, retiring as an Airborne First Sergeant from XVIII Airborne Corps, Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He worked two years Nationwide Insurance Agent; three years as the first Executive Director, St. Francois County Community Partnership (1999-2002). Since 2003, he’s worked as the Lieutenant, Jail Administrator, at the St. Francois County Sheriff’s Department.

He is a former board member Family Violence Council and Friends of the Family and is currently on an advisory council at Mineral Area College; board member St. Francois County Mental Health Board; and board member (twice past president) United Way of St. Francois County. In addition, he is a life member of the Farmington VFW and member of Farmington American Legion.

“Mayor Landrum was undecided about running again this term. I told Mit that as long as he wanted to be mayor he would have my 100 percent backing. We had lunch and he asked if I would run. I have been the Mayor Pro Tem for 6-7 years now and have thought about running over the years, but supported Mit. So, with his endorsement, I decided to run.

“I want to continue the direction we have been heading under Mayor Landrum. We have seen great improvement in our infrastructure, increases in police and fire personnel, improvement in the way the city is being ran, and we have been good stewards of the citizen’s money. I want to work with our IDA, the county IDA, and the other cities in our area on economic development – bringing the right mix of businesses to our county and Farmington. Some of the other major things I would like to see is our continued upkeep of our infrastructure, improve East-West traffic routes north and south of the city, and finish the expansion of our airport.”

Smith has a business administration degree from Campbell University, North Carolina (graduating Magna Cum Laude) and worked on an MBA at Webster University.

Smith is married for almost 40 years to Pattie M. Smith (Forsythe). He has a son and daughter, two step-daughters, and nine grandchildren.

Larry Forsythe

Larry Forsythe, 58, has served on the Farmington City Council since 1993.

Forsythe graduated from Farmington High School in 1977. He worked for his father for 10 years, Laclede Gas for 27 and a half years before retiring in July of 2016. He is presently employed at Billy Beard Electric Inc.

He is a member of the Farmington Elks #1765.

“Having served as councilmen in two different wards, it seems like the right time to run for Mayor. I know I will do my best to represent the town and its citizens as I have since 1993.”

Forsythe and his wife, Cindy, have been married for 20 years and between the couple, are the parents of seven children.

Farmington City Council

There are two contest races for seats on the Farmington City Council. Ward I Councilman John Robinson is running unopposed and no one filed for the seat on Ward III – currently held by Dennis Smith who is running for mayor.

Here are the candidates for the seats in Ward II and Ward IV. Each seat is for a two-year term.

Ward II

Perry Willmore

Perry Willmore, 66, is running for the seat in Ward II.

“I have not held an elected office, but think that could be a positive attribute. I believe it is an ideal time to bring fresh eyes and fresh ideas to our city government, and based on my education and background would be an asset to our City Council.”

Willmore retired after more than 45 years as a healthcare executive with a primary focus on Supply Chain Management. He worked in hospitals in Missouri, Texas and Wisconsin and received several awards for Supply Chain excellence. He is currently working as a Healthcare Supply Chain consultant. Served in the U.S. Army for eight and one-half years during and after the Vietnam War, achieving the rank of Staff Sergeant.

He is a member of the American Legion.

“My father was a prominent business man in Farmington for several decades, and anyone who knew him, knew how much he loved Farmington and its citizens. I share that same passion and commitment to our community. We have had significant infrastructure issues in Ward II and in my opinion, they have been neglected by some members of our city government. Even as far back as being a young Eagle Scout, I have always tried to live my life recognizing that ‘all men are created equal,’ and I don’t believe that has been truly recognized throughout our community. I think the city has done some very nice things, but have failed in recognizing the needs of all citizens. I have spoken to a number of people in our community, and we have some citizens that have a distrust of our city government. I am hoping I can help to rebuild that trust. The needs of all of our citizens should be recognized and money funded accordingly. My commitment is to focus on the genuine needs of our community.

“Farmington is a great community to raise a family and I am committed to making it a great community for everyone. Since I am retired, I have the time to dedicate to the City Council and the needs of the community.”

Willmore has an Associate Degree – Management and Supervision, St. Louis Community College; Bachelor Degree – Management, Webster University, St. Louis; Master Degree – Health Services Management, Webster University in St. Louis.

Willmore is married and has one daughter and two grandsons.

John Crouch

John Crouch, 70, is the incumbent running for reelection in Ward II. He was elected to the seat in 2015.

Crouch has been Certified Public Accountant for 44 years. He is a founder and senior partner of Crouch, Farley & Heuring PC.

He served with the U.S. Army for two years during the Vietnam War.

Crouch is a member of the Saint Joseph Catholic Church, Knights of Columbus, Missouri and American CPA Societies, and the Farmington Regional Chamber of Commerce.

“I was born in Farmington. I have lived and worked here most of my life. I have always felt fortunate to live and work in a growing and progressive community. I think a major reason for this is the strong leadership we have been blessed with over the years. With my years of experience in finance and business, I think I can help continue this tradition of leadership.”

He graduated from Farmington High School in 1965, as well as the University of Missouri – Columbia, Bachelor of Science in accounting; University of Illinois – Champaign, Masters in accounting.

Crouch and his wife, Kathy, have one daughter, Jennifer Crouch, M.D.

Ward IV

Vanessa Pegram

Vanessa Pegram, 40, works at Express Scripts, the largest Fortune 500 Company in Missouri.

“Working at such a large institution comes with great responsibilities but is also very fulfilling. I am a senior data analyst, which means I work to ensure people are not given different medications that could have negative side-effects when taken together. Currently I’m leading an effort to help combat the opioid-addiction problem affecting families all across our country. Before my corporate career, I worked at the non-profit Goodwill for over a decade. I transformed the way technology was utilized to help the organization be more efficient and effective.

“Our retiring Ward IV City Council member Garrett Boatright thought I would be a good replacement to fill his spot and Ward IV representative, Mark Kellogg agreed. They asked if I would be interested in running. After careful consideration, my husband and I agreed it would be a great opportunity to give back to our area. My husband owns his law-practice and we have many friends in town that operate small businesses. I would like to ensure our town continues to grow and prosper. I also want to help make our community as safe as possible as the mother of two young children.”

She graduated from Missouri State University with a degree in Computer Science.

Pegram and her husband, Seth, are the parents of two children.

Andrew Hardy

Andrew Hardy did not return the questionnaire before deadline.

City Attorney

Three candidates are running for the two-year term of City Attorney. The seat is currently being held City Counselor Scott Reid, who was appointed after the resignation of Kevan Karraker earlier this year. Karraker stepped down to focus on his private practice.

Kevin Kellogg

Kevin Kellogg, 29, is an attorney in the office of Tom R. Burcham, III in Farmington since the fall of 2015. This is his first time to run for public office.

“As an attorney, I have worked with many local and regional businesses, members of the community and other civil matters. Prior to being an attorney I had a varied work history from working as a landscaper, various roles in service industry and as a law clerk.

“I decided to run for City Attorney after seeing my parents, friends, and colleagues going out of their way throughout my time in Farmington to make our community a better place to live. After my education, I returned to Farmington and it is now my goal to aid them in this pursuit. As the City Attorney, I would work to ensure that the laws of our city are fairly upheld and that Farmington remains the great community that it is. I am the youngest of the candidates running for office and I believe that it is crucial for the younger members of our community to be active tin the local government in order to maintain Farmington’s course in the future.”

Kellogg received his bachelor’s degree from Missouri State University in 2009. He received his J.D. degree in 2014 from the University of Maryland’s Francis King Carey School of Law, graduating cum laude.

He is the son of Mark and Theresa Kellogg of Farmington.

Ben Campbell

Ben Campbell, 40, is an assistant prosecuting attorney for St. Francois County.

He has served as an adjunct professor in the business department at Mineral Area College and worked in the Public Defender’s office from July 2004 to January 2012.

Campbell is a member of the 24th Circuit Bar Association, Ducks Unlimited and Immaculate Conception Church.

“I have dedicated the majority of my legal career to public service. My assets would be perfect for the job as Farmington City Attorney. Living here in Farmington for the last 13 years of my life and raising a family I have really come to appreciate this community and want an opportunity to give back.”

He received his undergraduate degree from Southern Illinois University in 1999 and from Southern Illinois University School of Law in 2002.

He and his wife, Veronica, are the parents of two children.

Julie McCarver

Julie McCarver, 38, is the owner of McCarver Law Firm, LLC, in Farmington.

She also serves as the prosecutor for the City of Park Hills Municipal Prosecutor. She’s worked as an associate attorney at Kramer & Hand, LLC and Brown & James, P.C.; law clerk at office of Darryl W. Graves, Lawrence, Kansas; municipal judge in University of Kansas Municipal Court, Lawrence, Kansas; and city prosecutor in city attorney’s office in Topeka, Kansas.

She is a member of MMACJA (Missouri Municipal & Associate Circuit Judges Association), Missouri Bar Association and Kansas Bar Association. McCarver’s honors include The American Society of Legal Advocates, Top 40 Criminal Defense Lawyer Under 40, State of Missouri, 2017; The National Trial Lawyers, Top 100 Trial Lawyers, 2014, 2015 and 2016; American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys, Client Satisfaction Awards, 2014, 2015 and 2016; The National Trial Lawyers, Top 40 Under 40, 2014; Avvo.com, Excellent Attorney rating, 2013, 2014, and 2015; Avvo.com, Superb Attorney rating, 2016 and 2017; Missouri Bar Fee Dispute Program Arbitrator and Mediator, 2013 – 2017; Nominated for Lon O. Hocker Trial Attorney Award in 2010.

This is the first time for McCarver to run for office. She was appointed to the positions in Park Hills and Topeka.

“When I realized the Farmington City Attorney position had become available, I immediately sent in my resume to the City and I offered to fill in temporarily for this position, as I have had prior (and current) experience in this exact position in two other cities. The City informed me that I could not run for this position if I filled in temporarily for this position, as this would give me an unfair advantage. The City also informed me that if I were not planning on running for this position, then they would of course hire me to fill in temporarily because I am very qualified for this position. When I heard this, I decided that if I am very qualified for this position, then I should run for this position.

“I very much enjoy working in my current position as City Prosecutor/City Attorney for the City of Park Hills, and I would be honored if I could do the same for the City of Farmington.”

McCarver and her husband, Associate Circuit Court Judge Shawn McCarver, have been married for more than 10 years, and have a nine-year-old daughter.

Smith

Smith

Forsythe

Forsythe

Willmore

Willmore

Crouch

Crouch

Pegram

Pegram

Kellogg

Kellogg

Campbell

Campbell

McCarver

McCarver

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