School board president in race for seat

Saturday, January 5, 2002

JACKSON, Mo. -- Jackson Board of Education president Gerald Adams is among the four-candidate Republican field in the race to succeed state Rep. David Schwab.

Adams, 49, said his knowledge of education issues, past experience as a family farmer and long history with service groups make him a strong candidate.

"I've always been involved in the community, so I think I can represent the area as well as anyone else," Adams said.

In addition to Adams, who announced his candidacy last month, the other GOP hopefuls seeking the open 157th District seat are Donna Lichtenegger of Jackson, Scott Lipke, an assistant Cape Gir-ardeau County prosecuting attorney who also hails from Jackson, and Cape Girardeau County Farm Bureau president Tom Sachse of Friedheim.

No Democrats have yet entered the race. Official candidate filing for the August 2002 party primaries doesn't open until late February. Schwab, R-Jackson, is term-limited and can't seek re-election.

While Schwab represents most of Cape Girardeau County in the General Assembly, new legislative boundaries will change the shape of the 157th District. The new district includes Jackson and northern areas of the county plus most of Perry County.

Two years left in term

Adams has been on the Jackson school board for four years and has two years left on his second three-year term. Under state law, a person can simultaneously serve in the Legislature and on a local school board. If elected representative, Adams said he would resign his school board seat, an unpaid position, if he didn't feel he could adequately do both jobs.

While the other candidates got an earlier start raising campaign contributions, Adams doesn't think he is at a disadvantage. He plans to establish a campaign committee soon.

"I think I have a really good shot with my rural background; I feel very good about it," Adams said. "As far as money is concerned, I'm not worried about it. I know I have to raise some money, and I will."

Adams grew up on a dairy farm near Gordonville and graduated from Jackson High School in 1970. He earned a degree in agriculture from the University of Missouri in 1975.

Adams owned and operated G-N-A Dairy for many years before moving to Jackson, where for the past four years he has coached the local American Legion baseball team. He is currently employed as a printer at Nordenia USA.

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