Hello Bates County! My name is Matthew Cunningham, and I am seeking election for Presiding Commissioner on the Republican ticket this year. I am a lifelong resident of Bates County, mostly in Adrian where I graduated in 1994. My parents Bill Cunningham and Sharon (White) Cunningham are both from here also. My wife and I have 3 children, Denton 18, Mayci 16 (17 in July), and Barak 14. My wife Julie graduated from Butler in 1998 and her parents Tim and Cheryl Hummel still live in Butler.
I joined the Kansas Air National Guard in 1996. In September 2001 I was called to active duty for one year to serve on Operation Noble Eagle. In 2003 my service time expired honorably.
Also in the spring of 2001 I earned my Barber's License. In December 2002 I was hired full time at Terry's Barber Shop in Harrisonville MO. I continued there until April 2008.
I joined the Missouri National Guard in the fall of 2006 as a Chaplain's Assistant. I earned my E-6 in 2011 and then seperated honorably in 2012.
In 2008 I opened my own barber shop in Adrian, The King's Kutter Barber Shop. Currently at 205 S. Old 71 Hwy. Adrian. The name was chosen as a reflection of my faith in Jesus Christ. I have been active in my church, Victory Assembly of God in Adrian for most of my life. Also since 2004 I have been visiting state prisons as a religious volunteer and currently travel to Tipton Correctional Center every second Sunday.
Here's a quick list of some of the extra involvements of mine. Adrian Optimist member and one time board member serving as Treasure for one year. Public Address announcer for the Adrian Blackhawks football games. I have a DJ business. Little League baseball coach for several years and serve on the board. Lifetime member of the American Legion.
Now for politics! I do not consider myself a staunch Republican, but I do agree with most of the party's platforms. There are a few things that I also agree with most Democrats. That being said, I believe that most party issues aren't relevant at the county level. I want to serve all Bates County residents wether they vote or not. I believe that I can bring a fresh new perspective to some foundational issues. I am not pretending to say I have all the answers. I am, instead, stating that with my background as a local self employed business man and the many opportunities that I have had working with all kinds of people, that I do bring with me an experience that not too many people have.
The County is growing. But I do not believe we should work toward being another Cass County. Instead, our county could take what has helped the bigger counties and still keep our county rural and personal. Most of our townships need help. Our law enforcement continues to need the tools they count on to do their job. And there are a few not-for-profit organizations in our county that could use a shot in the arm.
I understand that just one man can not change all that is wrong nor enhance all that is right with our county. That's why I believe I can work toward bringing people together to meet these challenges. This includes letting the voted officials in the county do their job. The presiding commissioner is not the boss of the county but rather a leader among others. If the other officials are not meeting expectations or abusing their powers, then we the voters can step in and make a change at the polls.
The first Tuesday in August I hope to see you at the polls voting your concsience and if your vote is for me, I can promise that I will do my best to represent the whole county! Thank you and may God continue to bless you.