Breaking News Bar

Republican candidate for Perry County treasurer Mary Jane Craft has an interesting life's story

Posted on 7/10/2014, 9:00 AM

Pinckneyville resident Mary Jane Craft this week announced her candidacy for the office of Perry County Treasurer, in the November election.

Craft was caucused onto the ballot in early June when no Republican candidate filed in the March 2014 Primary Election. Republican Central Committee Chairman Bruce Morgenstern commented, "Mary Jane Craft is a quality candidate whose credentials and track record in business and public service make her a great fit for the treasurer's position."

Craft, a native of Southeast Missouri, has lived in Perry County since December of 2005, following her marriage to Jim Craft, an Ameren lineman. She grew up as a family member of the Bill Graham Pallet and Sawmills business in Glen Allen, Missouri, an operation that employed some 180 people. As a young woman she worked with payroll, taxes, budgets, quarterly reports and even training of semi drivers and fork lift operators in her father's business.

Her formal education includes an Associate's Degree in early childhood education from Phillips University in Enid, Oklahoma. She has also done course work and earned various certificates from Washington University, Webster University and SEMO in business, insurance, banking and accounting.

Other work history includes eight and a half years with Southwestern Bell Telephone Company, human resources manager and operations assistant with Venture Stores, where she was involved with payroll, taxes budgets, hiring and firing, and accrual of accounts.

Craft was the general manager of the Bent Creek Golf Course in Jackson, Missouri, where she compiled an employees' manual and purchased a computer to do inventory. She was responsible for budgeting, accounting, and oversight of the restaurant, pro shop and driving range.

Craft has been an agent for American Family Insurance Company, and most recently office manager for State Farm Insurance in Jackson, Missouri.

As a 35-year licensed volleyball referee, Mary Jane has officiated at all levels, ranging from junior high to Division III college, in Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Arkansas and Tennessee. Since coming to Perry County, she has become a familiar face at many local volleyball venues.

In 2010, she volunteered and was hired to help with the national census in Perry County, receiving two promotions and rising to the position of regional Southern Illinois leader for the census that year.

"With my business, accounting and tax experience, I feel I am well qualified for the Treasurer's position, I would appreciate your consideration and vote in November." Craft will oppose incumbent Treasurer Bill Taylor, who was first elected in 2002 and is seeking his fourth term as treasurer.

Craft is an active member of Holts Prairie Baptist Church. She is the mother of two grown sons, Gabriel, a golf pro, and Stephen, a line locator for USIC. She and her husband Jim reside in the Charlotte Hills subdivision in rural Pinckneyville.