Outgoing Cookeville Mayor Ricky Shelton said he hasn’t ruled out running for election again.
Shelton said he’s still passionate about serving, making a difference, and leadership.
“Obviously would need to talk to my wife and family and see what’s best for us in the future there,” Shelton said. “But I certainly don’t want to say never. I’ll be open to what the lord leads me to do and get involved in.”
Shelton said serving in an elected position is a huge sacrifice for the families of officials. He said the mayor serves on eight or nine different boards that require their attention, so time spent on those is time away from families. Though it’s hard to find that balance, Shelton said he gained more of it in his second term with his family’s help.
A natural progression for a former local official would be to take the step to serve in the state legislature. Shelton said when he was finishing his term on the city council in 2010, he had planned to run for state representative. He said looking back now, that wasn’t the right time.
“I thought I was being led there and my wife never could get satisfied with it, never felt it was the right thing to do and shortly thereafter I decided not to run and Ryan (Williams) did and now he’s been serving for 12 years,” Shelton said. “And as I look back I see that my job at the time was going west, and a few months later changed and was going east. And then my parents became sick and then about a year later they died within 60 days of each other. So I step back and I look back at that and I’m like well obviously that wasn’t the right time that wasn’t what I was supposed to do.”
Shelton said you often don’t see the path in front of you, but rather when you stop and turn around to see what you did, didn’t do, or missed–that’s when you see the bigger picture and that you’re where you’re supposed to be.
Editor’s Note: You can listen to the full interview with Ricky Shelton Tuesday, August 16th at 7 p.m. on News Talk 94.1 and Wednesday, August 17th at 6 p.m. on Lite Rock 95.9