In regards to where he’s come from, and how he’s made his way to being the first Republican Mayor of Madisonville in over 50 years, Jackson said that, “I was raised in Sebree, KY and graduated from high school at Life Christian Academy here in Madisonville. Then I went to the University of Kentucky and graduated with a BA degree in Business Administration in 1987. Right out of college, I went to work with Ford Motor Credit and I would audit dealerships and I was hired away by Renshaw Motor Group. I worked for them for several years.”
As Jackson explained, his work with local residents Charlie Ramsey and Danny Renshaw during this time helped inspire him to pursue a career in public accounting.
“I decided that being a CPA was something I wanted to do, so I went to Murray State University to gather enough accounting hours to take the CPA exam,” said Jackson. “I passed the exam and went to work for Bruce Franklin & Company here in town.”
After several years with Bruce Franklin & Company, Jackson explained that his outgoing personality and desire to meet new people resulted in having his “own practice within the practice.” Placing this idea of a growing independence alongside his desire to focus more on family life with his wife, Leigh Ann, his son, Jordan, 15, and his daughter, Chloe, 9, Jackson formed his own CPA business on Union Street in Madisonville.
“I wanted to have a little more family focus, so I went out on my own and started my CPA firm,” said Jackson.
In practicing as a CPA/entrepreneur for approximately 6 years now, Jackson mentioned that he has built a “great and trusting relationship” with many of his clients, which total in at over 400 accounts. Additionally, Jackson stated that his interaction with clients over the years was, and is, one of the central reasons he decided to run for Mayor of Madisonville.
“It was working with my clients that kind of challenged me to think about running for the Mayor’s office,” said Jackson. “I heard some of the difficulties that business people were having as far as trying to develop something here in Madisonville and heard about them running into a lot of unnecessary hurdles. Individuals also seemed to have some difficulty dealing with the city, and I got to thinking, ‘I love Madisonville.’ I’ve lived here for about 23 years now and I know that Madisonville has a lot to offer. The quality of life in Madisonville, in my opinion, is off the charts. We’re located strategically at the corner of two major highway systems, we have a vast amount of natural resources here, and we have a workforce of hard working people. I believe the work ethic is high in Hopkins County. So I got to thinking, ‘What’s holding us back? Why aren’t we growing like other towns around us seem to be growing?’ That’s kind of what first drew me into looking at city government, to see if there might be some improvements that could be made to help create growth.”
“Government doesn’t really create growth; government can create the opportunity for growth. And if you create the opportunity, I believe the entrepreneurial spirit in people will cause them to take advantage of that opportunity,” said Jackson. “I just want to bring all of Madisonville’s positives together to set the table for growth and opportunity.”
As touted during his campaign, Jackson noted specific changes he aims to implement, such as lowering utility costs, tax relief for new and existing businesses, and creating an overall cooperative relationship with the people and businesses of Madisonville.
Other than being elected as the Mayor of Madisonville, Jackson mentioned some of his greatest accomplishments and favorite free-time activities as well.
“My family is my biggest accomplishment,” said Jackson. “I’m proud of my 24-year marriage with Leigh Ann, and during that period of time we have adopted two great kids—Jordan who’s now 15 and Chloe who is now 9. There are both wonderful kids. Jordan is on the Marching Band at Madisonville North Hopkins High School, is on the Academic Team, and is just a great student overall. Chloe is a cheerleader at Jesse Stuart and is also a very good student. She injects a lot of life into our family; she’s a very exciting young lady. Of course, starting my CPA practice has been a goal of mine and I’m extremely proud of the relationship I have with my clients. I also started Living Waters Church of God and we’ve just constructed a new facility on Dulin Street. I’ve got a private pilot’s license, I play guitar, and I love to ride my bicycle. I love the exercise. I also swim a mile 3 days a week at the YMCA and lift on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Exercise is an important part of my life. Overall, I would say that all these things have been my main accomplishments in life so far. You know, I’ve had a very blessed life and I don’t take any of those blessings for granted. I thank God for them every day.”
In conclusion, Jackson wanted to give a message to everyone in Madisonville and Hopkins County, and stated that, “I want everyone to know that as I transition into the Mayor’s Office over the next month-and-a-half, that I’m available, and I will certainly continue to be available once I’m in the Mayor’s Office. This is not just my administration—this is our administration, this is our city, and this is our opportunity to grow together. I really look forward to working with the citizens and the businesses to move Madisonville in a positive direction. I really believe that in the next 4 years our best days are not behind us, they are ahead of us.”
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