Jonathon “JD” Baker of Van Buren has announced he will be an independent candidate for a seat on the Crawford County Quorum Court.

Baker, who serves as the chaplain for the Robert Jack Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1322, will seek the District 5 justice of the peace position.

“I am involved in a number of community activities such as scouting and volunteer firefighting as well as the VFW,” Baker said. “I want to continue to give back by serving on the Crawford County Quorum Court.”

The number one priority for Baker will be roads, Baker said. Another will be greenways.

“Other communities in the Van Buren area have them,” he said. “Why can’t we?”

Public transportation is another concern for Baker.

“Our community could benefit from a public transportation system whether it be buses or a sub-train line,” he said.

As a former teacher who currently substitutes and a parent, Baker also lists education as a concern.

“Teachers should be furnished the supplies they need to do their job,” he said. “There should not be out-of-pocket expenses to buy such things as the copy paper they need to do their jobs.”

Baker is a native of Columbia, S.C., who received his bachelor’s degree in church ministry and associates degree in general studies from the American Military University. He is a retired combat veteran, having served in the Navy during tours in Europe and Japan.

He also is chaplain for VFW District 7, a cub scout post master and member of Van Buren First Baptist Church.

He and his wife of 22 years, Tara, have three children, David, 26, an employee of Simmons; Joshua, 20, a Walmart employee; and Kasha, 15, a sophomore at Van Buren High School.