NEW MADRID -- God got a vote, but he didn't win.
As New Madrid County election officials tallied the votes Tuesday evening, there were some surprises on the ballots, new leaders elected to local government posts and incumbents, many running without opposition, returned to office. However, God will not be the next police judge for Marston, that job, filled by write-in votes, will go to a more earth-bound candidate.
Overall, voter turnout for the election was low, according to New Madrid County Clerk Jim W. Farrenburg. There were only 2,907 ballots cast in the county. Farrenburg attributed the low turnout to the many candidates running without opposition.
The unofficial totals provided by Farrenburg's office are as follows:
Blake Sindle was easily elected city marshal for Canalou receiving 56 votes over six votes for James Russom. With no declared candidates for the office of city police judge, it will be filled in by write-in candidate Becky Lasters who had five votes to three votes for Larry Drake and one vote for Charles Smith.
Elected without opposition was Charles Joyce, mayor, 53 votes; Joy Russom, city collector, 46 votes; Steve Joyce, Ward 1 alderman, 19 votes; Bubba Southard, Ward 2 alderman, 34 votes.
Catron voters elected only two of three trustees. Receiving votes were Phillip Hills, 10, and Barbara Matlock, 11, with no write-ins to fill the third spot.
Louise Shock was re-elected to another term as mayor of Gideon, garnering 90 votes compared to 45 votes for her opponent Lawrence "Toby" Jordan. Running without opposition in Gideon were: James Pickard, city marshal, 113 votes; Kevin Keowin, 59 votes; and Cleo Payne, Ward 2 alderman, 43 votes.
Howardville voters selected Clennon "Jim" Farr as mayor with 64 votes. Farr narrowly defeated Jessie Newson Jr., who had 57 votes and coming in third in the race was Simon Wofford who polled 6 votes. In the other contested race, Robert Young was declared the winner in another three-way race. Young garnered 34 votes outdistancing opponents Birdie Duff, who had 29 votes, and Billy Ray Williams, who had 11 votes.
Also Howardville voters gave the nod to a proposal to convert the four-part city tax levy to a single general operations levy in the amount of $1 per $100 valuation. There were 72 votes in favor of the issue and 46 opposing it.
Running unopposed were Mary L. Johnson for Howardville Ward 2 alderman, 41 votes, and Clois Y. Taylor, city police judge, 88 votes.
In Lilbourn, voters selected Frank Ash over incumbent Mayor Larry J. Hamilton. Ash had 213 votes compared to 209 votes for Hamilton. With four names on the ballot for city marshal, Alvin Bobo won re-election with 188 votes compared to 90 votes for Raymond Creasy, 81 for Timothy "T.C." Collins and 71 votes for Donald Hanner.
Lilbourn's Ward 1 voters elected Robert Taylor as alderman with a tally of 146 compared to 52 votes for Ronald G. Ivie while in Ward 2 voters gave the nod to Larry J. Holtzhouser, who had 110 votes compared to 62 votes for opponent Danny Ruark and 45 for Barry Ash. Richard Kolwyck was unopposed for police judge and received 345 votes while City Collector Yvonne Morgan, also unopposed, had 373 votes.
Rebecca Redden will replace Paul Haubold as mayor of the city of Marston. She gathered 112 votes, squeaking by the incumbent who had 97 votes.
It was also a close race in Ward 1 where George Lance received 64 votes to defeat Robert Silman, who had 56 votes. In Ward 2, Wayne Ruby tallied 56 votes over opponent Sydney Williams's 34 votes. For a one-year unexpired term in Ward 2, Shannon Sprouse was elected to the post with 54 votes over opponent Donald Ferguson's 33 votes.
With no one filing for city police judge, voters had the opportunity to write-in their preferred candidates. Gary Cook received the most votes tallying four while Randy Phillips had two votes. Each receiving one vote was James Ferguson, Paul Haubold, Janie Jeffords, Sam Ash, Jerry Alley and God.
J. Elaine Vandever was unopposed for Ward 1 alderman for Matthews and gathered 21 votes while in Ward 2, Bud Armstrong was elected alderman with 41 votes over his opponent, Armand L. Porter, who had 38 votes.
Morehouse voters in Ward 1 handily elected Evelyn Comstock as alderman with 59 votes over 26 votes for L.V. Brothers while in Ward 2; Pop Parr defeated Sharon Buckley by just four votes, 24 to 20.
The incumbents were returned to office by New Madrid residents. Claude McFerren will serve another term as city marshal after receiving 408 votes compared to 245 votes for his opponent, Tommy Hunter. In Ward 1, Richard St. Mary Jr. had 119 votes compared to 84 votes for Bobby Martin while in Ward 2; Russell Riggs out-distanced his opponent with 181 votes compared to 63 votes for Bobby Blom. Ward 3 Alderman Glen Medlin was easily re-elected with a tally of 148 votes compared to 39 votes for opponent William Kosky Jr., who had 39 votes.
Running without opposition were Mayor Mark Baker, who had 524 votes; City Collector Sherry Phillips, who had 564 votes; and Police Judge Bill Boyd, 529 votes.
The top vote-getters for the two openings on the Village of North Lilbourn's Board of Trustees were Walter Moore with 24 votes and Jessie Newson with 23 votes. Others receiving votes were Mary E. Evans, 8; Mamie Blair, 13; and Leonard Thomas, 15.
Residents of Parma in Ward 1 elected Steve Lewis as alderman, giving him 47 votes compared to 24 votes for Lisa A. Kirk. In Ward 2 Floyd L. Shaw, who did not have an opponent, received 27 votes.
Only one vote separated the winner and the loser for Ward 1 alderman in Portageville. Phyllis Pate had 104 votes while Lynn Doering polled 103 votes. The other candidates did not have opposition with voters giving Police Judge Bill Foster, 275 votes and Ward 2 Alderman Bruce Martin Jr., 75 votes.
None of those seeking office in Risco had opposition. The candidates and their totals were: Don Lancaster, mayor, 91 votes; James Hensley, East Ward alderman, 51 votes; Joe Rowe, West Ward alderman, 42 votes.
Two aldermen were chosen by write-in votes in Tallapoosa. For a one-year unexpired term Jack Clark had one vote while in the south ward Donald Brown had one vote for a two-year term. Listed on the ballot were Frank Smith, who had 29 votes for mayor; Barbara Copeland, city clerk, 29 votes; Mary Manning, two-year term as north ward alderman, 17 votes.
In the portion of Sikeston, which is in New Madrid County, voters gave Phil Boyer 91 votes, Sue Rogers, 73 votes and Bill Mitchell, 60 votes for Sikeston City Council. There were 89 voters in favor of the proposed charter government compared to 35 who opposed it while 70 voters would select the mayor by popular vote compared to 55 who opted to have the position appointed.
The three candidates gathering the most votes for Sikeston School Board were Rick Adams, Billy D. Priday and Randy Bohannon; they had 153 votes, 136 votes and 133 votes respectively. The other candidates' tallies were Greg Colwick, 100, Julia Crader Dolan, 93 and Mary L. White-Ross, 77.
In the Gideon School District the three candidates did not face opposition for the three three-year terms. Their tallies were: Steve Richardson, 138; Rickie D. Branch, 121; and Courtney Boone, 130. Filling an unexpired term on the board will be Devon Buchanan, who had 148 votes.
New Madrid County R-1 voters had three candidates and three spots to fill. Scott Riley polled 1,267 votes, Johnny Davis, 1, 284 votes and Don Brittain, 1,165 votes.
Portageville School District patrons elected Mark D. Moody with 268 votes, Tina E. DeLisle with 238 votes and Lynda Priggel with 259 votes to fill the three openings on the school board.
Five persons were seeking the three openings on the Risco R-2 School Board with the top vote getters being Jim King, 119 votes; Keenan Carlisle, 117 votes; and Mark Halford, 110 votes. Also receiving votes were Rhonda L. Duckworth, 57 votes and Cathy Michele Knight, 62 votes.
There was some confusion on the Ambulance District Director position, which appeared on precinct ballots other than the ones allowed. Harold Hayes was elected to the post with 194 votes compared to 47 votes for Kevin Young.