Among the changes McBarnes seeks for his hometown of Frankfort are restoring sound leadership in the community, boosting small businesses and invigorating the youth to participate in city decisions.
“I knew that if I had the leadership skills to make a difference in my community and breathe a little hope back in the people of Frankfort again, I couldn’t wait,” McBarnes said.
McBarnes’ decision to run for mayor in Frankfort stemmed from his lifelong participation in the city.
His attendance at Frankfort City Council meetings has helped him stay informed of local governance; his involvement in churches there provided him with leadership and public speaking skills. McBarnes has served as music minister and a motivational speaker in area churches for the past five years.
Besides his city involvements pushing him to run for mayor, McBarnes had the backing of leaders in his community. The pastor at his church, a city physician and a director at a local bank all agreed McBarnes should run for mayor.
“These men hold upstanding positions in the community so I respect their opinion,” he said. “When they told me that it could be a reality for me to be the next mayor of Frankfort, Ind., at age 23 I listened to them.”
McBarnes hopes to restore closeness among residents within the community. Frankfort is a city of only 16,000 residents – McBarnes said that, when he was growing up, a typical Friday night consisted of everyone grabbing a pizza and enjoying each other’s company.
“Now, people would rather sit on their computers at home or go to Indianapolis on a Friday night, and I want to change that,” he said. “I want to breathe that sense of fellowship and community back in Frankfort because I know how great it was growing up.”
In terms of his political aspirations, McBarnes said his main goal is to focus on Frankfort for now. “There is no better place for me to start because this city made me who I am today and I am very proud to say that.”
At the basis of McBarnes’ campaign for mayor is the education he has received from Butler. He is especially grateful for the interpersonal, critical thinking, and leadership skills he has gained from his liberal arts education.
McBarnes’ leadership skills in particular were sharpened through his involvement in Sigma Nu. During his four years in the fraternity, he has served as chaplain and coordinated the brotherhood committee and the annual parent-alumni golf outing fundraiser for several years.
McBarnes has also been heavily involved in Speakers Lab and Campus Crusade at Butler.
“My time at Butler has played a vital role in my aspirations to becoming mayor of the city of Frankfort,” Mcbarnes said. “I couldn’t do it without my education.”