While Doug McCain might be best known for the barbecue sauce sold to dozens of stores within a 100-mile radius of Effingham, the rural Mason man wants to be known for something else soon.
McCain, 58, is the Democratic candidate for the District G seat on the Effingham County Board. He squares off against Republican Ed Hoopingarner on Nov. 6.
McCain, a lifelong resident of Effingham County, said he’s been interested in county politics his entire life. His late father Robert was a township road commissioner and member of the Effingham Unit 40 Board of Education.
McCain said it’s undeniable the county has to watch its pennies.
“The money situation needs to be looked at,” he said. “I’d like to see the county get back on a solid financial footing.”
One thing the board can do, he said, is combine some committee of the whole meetings to cut down on mileage and per diem paid to board members.
“I’ve been going to a lot of committee meetings and I’d like to put two of them together,” he said. “Instead of having one 30-minute meeting at a time, we can have two.
“That way, a board member working doesn’t have to take off work as much,” he said.
McCain said he’d also like to explore ways to expand or remodel the county jail in an effort to relieve overcrowding. In addition, he’d like to see the old courthouse restoration effort continue.
“I don’t want to see the county put a lot of money into it, but I’d like to see the old courthouse restored through grants and private donations,” he said.
McCain said his efforts to build his barbecue sauce business have enabled him to encounter many people.
“I’m a people person,” he said. “I am interested in what happens in the county, but I’m also interested in what happens to people.
“I’ve probably been to more weddings, funerals and wakes than anybody else in the county,” he said.
McCain is an Effingham High School graduate. The lifelong bachelor still farms row crops, but he gave up raising hogs after being seriously burned in a propane tank explosion more than 10 years ago.
McCain belongs to several organizations including Salem United Methodist Church in rural Altamont, and Effingham County Farm Bureau. He has been particularly active in the Farm Bureau, having served as president and vice-treasurer. He is now treasurer of the organization.
In his younger days, McCain was a member of the state Young Farmer committee.
Bill Grimes can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 132, or at firstname.lastname@example.org