Candidate Profile: S. Gene Rhoden

S. Gene Rhoden
S. Gene Rhoden

Name: S. Gene Rhoden

Age: 80

Immediate family members: Wife, Sackie Rhoden, and six adult children.

Occupation: Retired executive committee member and laborer for Mascoutah Local 742. Currently serves as the senior pastor for Flat Creek Missionary Baptist Church in East Carondelet

Office sought: St. Clair County Board Member - District 4

Party affiliation: Democrat

Previous elected positions and years served: Alderman in the City of Lebanon for 40 years, St. Clair County Precinct committeeman for 48 years.

Why are you running?: I believe the people that you represent should have a known, experienced person who will be responsive to their needs. I have been a dedicated public servant for all my life and it comes natural to me to continue to serve at a time that committed leadership is needed.

What is the biggest issue facing St. Clair County, and how should elected officials and county staff approach it?: Continued economic development is essential for the viability of St. Clair County. To that point, elected officials and staff should continue to develop strategies that will lead to MidAmerica Airport becoming viable which will create jobs, spur business and real estate growth all which are beneficial for constituents.

What are your views on MidAmerica Airport, and how should the county handle the future of the airport?: Don’t give up! The county officials should continue to execute on the plan to make the airport viable. There should be a long term plan that focuses on the future possibilities that will yield jobs and offer additional business opportunities. This plan will work with the right leadership in office that will not allow this key to continued growth to fail.

What improvements do you want to see in how the county is run?: There are many in office that are doing their very best in challenging times. My opponent, however, has not been visible in may communities. Direct engagement with constituents is imperative so that the will of the people gets accomplished. You have to do more than just put up signs during election time.

Do you plan to serve the full term of office?: I plan to serve the full term and also be present and involved in all the meetings. My 99 percent attendance record for 40 years I served as alderman illustrates my commitment.

Why should people vote for you?: I am proud of my record of success. I have been married for 56 years and we raised six successful children. I spent the majority of my adult life as a public servant and continue to serve the county in an honorable fashion. I am the proud pastor of a church that I have expanded in my 12 years of service. I have a track record of making decisions that I have positive impact on people and organizations. I know how to work successfully in a political environment for the benefit of the people I serve without succumbing to politics. I know I can successfully represent the perspectives of multiple generations.