Farm life, business lead Hendrix as commissioner

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Incumbent seeks 3rd term at post in county office

From his upbringing to his 22 years as owner of Sportsman's Corner in Cassville, two-term incumbent Wayne Hendrix takes many life lessons into his bid for another four years as southern commissioner.

A 1978 graduate of Southwest High School, Hendrix grew up on a farm west of Washburn and at the age of 19, married his wife of almost 38 years, Jackie Hendrix. The couple have two children, Johnie and Jessica, both of which are grown and left the home.

A family farm hand throughout his youth, Hendrix said he uses lessons from his youth every day in his position as southern commissioner.

"We milked cows on the farm, grazed hogs and raised chickens, done everything," he said. "It helped me learn to be conservative because at times, we didn't have $2 to throw around. Growing up on the farm, we also had to do a lot of thinking to make things work, like knowing how the water runs on the creek and what happens when we get a flood. Farm life was a good life."

After graduation and marriage, Hendrix moved to Cassville, where he worked factory jobs until 1990, when he and his brother-in-law started a plumbing business. Four years later, Hendrix opened Sportsman's corner, where he has worked ever since.

"[At Sportsman's Corner], I learned how to manage a business, and how to treat people so they come back for repeat business," he said. "You get to know a lot of people, and I feel I've been very successful. In a small town like Cassville, you have got to have repeat business or you won't last. So, I learned to respect people and treat them well."

In seeking his third term as commissioner, Hendrix said he feels like he can help people, and he knows a lot of people by first name.

"They feel I'm honest and trustworthy, and that I do all I can to help them," he said.

Hendrix said the decision to seek another term was made quickly and easily.

"Since I have been commissioner, I have been through thick and thin," he said. "We operate off a half-cent sales tax, and when I came in, the emergency fund was getting low fast, and we had some layoffs. But, the economy has come back, county funds are looking good, and we've hired back all those positions."

Hendrix said another thing he hangs his hat on is that county employees have received raises for the past three years.

"They didn't get a raise for seven years, and they have gotten a raise each of the past three," he said. "I can't take all the credit for that, but I was a part of it."

Hendrix will face Matt Cupps, R-Shell Knob, in the general election on Nov. 8.

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