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Three incumbents fail in re-election bids

Wednesday, August 4, 2004

NEW MADRID - There will be some new faces taking office next January as Democrats for several county offices will not face Republicans in the November general election. However, one officeholder -- the public administrator -- will not be determined until Nov. 2.

Just over 50 percent of New Madrid County's voters cast ballots Tuesday, making it one of the largest turnouts in several years according to New Madrid County Clerk Clement Cravens. There were 5,556 ballots cast.

Cravens noted a few problems during the election, primarily voters who "overvoted" their ballots. "Mostly on the amendments," Cravens said. "People were confused about what to do, they would vote yes and realize they wanted to vote no or vote no and mean to vote yes and cross out their votes. Then we would have go give the ballot to the election judges to determine the voter's intent."

Voters elected Mark Baker as the new District 1 commissioner on the Democratic ticket. Baker, with 975 votes edge out incumbent Barry Bennett, who polled 898 votes, along with Dub Prince, 340 votes; Gary Fowler, 289 votes votes; Darren Brown, 139 votes; and William Fincher, 59. Baker is unopposed in November.

Also there will be a new District 2 commissioner with Democrats giving the nod to Don Day. Day had 803 votes to defeat incumbent Sam Pikey, 760 votes; Dennis Moody, 482 votes; and Tim Dambach, 247 votes. There is no Republican candidate for the office.

In the race for New Madrid County Sheriff, Democrats stayed with the incumbent, electing Terry Stevens over Jake C. Rone and Ronnie Adams. The vote totals were: Stevens, 2,640; Rone, 1,448 and Adams, 941. No Republican sought election.

As he prepared to put "thank you" signs up, Stevens said he was humbled to have defeated two such worthy opponents by such a wide margin. "I just thank the good Lord and the people of New Madrid County for trusting me for another four years," he added.

Nancy Goodman Pardon easily won the Democratic nomination for public administrator and will face Republican Gary Henson in November. The incumbent garnered 2,346 over her opponents, Joe Beaher, 1,067; Dianne Ivy, 682; and Terri Adams, 763. On the Republican ticket, Henson had 307 votes in the primary.

One of the closest races of the day was for county coroner with Jimmy McSpadden nudging out incumbent Timothy Clayton by just 1.1 percent of the total vote. McSpadden had 2,272 votes to Clayton's 2,221 votes. There is no Republican seeking the office.

Running unopposed in the Democratic primary and without opponents in the general election were: Ronnie A. Simmons, county assessor, 4,313 votes; Tommy Bradley, county treasurer, 3,940 votes; Charles Ice, county surveyor, 3,979; and Clement Cravens, county clerk, 3,933 votes.

On the state level, New Madrid County voters followed the state trends.

New Madrid County residents picked Claire McCaskill as their choice for Democratic candidate for governor giving her 2,477 votes over incumbent Bob Holden, who polled 2,066 votes. Jim LePage received 146 votes and Jeffery A. Emrick had 106 votes.

Matt Blunt was the overwhelming choice as the Republican candidate for governor. The vote total was Blunt, 328; Karen Lee Dee Skelton-Memhardt, 12; Jennie Lee (Jen) Sievers, 11; Martin Lindstedt, 9; and Jeff Killian, 14.

Rebecca McDowell (Bekki) Cook easily was the pick of voters in the county for the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor receiving 3,448 votes compared to 991 votes for Ken Jacob. For lieutenant governor, the county's Republicans selected Peter Kinder with 320 votes over Patricia (Pat) Secrest, who had 61 votes.

For the Republican candidate for attorney general the voters chose Chris Byrd with 292 votes over 37 votes for Dewey Crepeau. Jeremiah W. (Jay) Nixon, Democratic incumbent attorney general, was unopposed in his election bid and had 3,938 votes.

Running unopposed on the Democratic statewide ballot for secretary of state was Robin Carnahan, who earned 3,715 votes. Republican Catherine L. Hanaway, also unopposed, tallied 331 votes for the post.

Mark Powell was the choice of county Democrats for state treasurer. He received 2,135 votes while 984 voters cast ballots for Jason Klumb and 776 votes were cast for Mark C. Abel. The Republican vote for the office of state treasurer was divided as follows: Chet Boeke, 21; Al Hanson, 41; (Will) William R. Pundmann, 12; Tom Klein, 44; Sarah Steelman, 73; Anita Yeckel, 9; and Blaine Luetkemeyer, 139.

On the Republican ballot, New Madrid County residents picked Christopher (Kit) Bond with 350 votes over his opponent Mike Steger's 40 votes for the Senate nomination. County Democrats picked Nancy Farmer giving her 2,440 votes over challengers Charles Berry, 1,203 and Ronald Bonar, 415.

The primary winner in the District 8 U.S. representative's race among local Democrats was Dean Henderson, who received 2,022 votes, defeating Jerry Cass, who had 1,693 votes. Incumbent Eighth District Representative Jo Ann Emerson was the overwhelming choice of Republicans who gave her 373 votes compared to her opponent, Richard Allen Kline, who had 19 votes.

Other winners on the New Madrid County Democratic ballot, who were without opposition, were: Patt Sharp, State Senate District 25, 3,693 votes; Jim D. Spooler, 160th District representative, 130 votes; Curtis Burch, 161st District representative, 1,985 votes; and Terry Swinger, District 162nd representative, 1,612.

Running without opposition on the Republican ballot were: Senate District 25, Robert (Rob) Mayer, 328 votes; 160th District State Rep. Peter Myers, 83 votes; 161st District State Rep. Lanie Black, 151 votes; 162nd District State Rep. Shirley T. Johnson, 115 votes.

The vote breakdown on the Libertarian ballot was: U.S. Senate, Kevin Tull, 3 votes; governor, Randall (Randy) D. Langkraehr, 0, and John M. Swenson, 2 votes; lieutenant governor, Mike Ferguson, 2 votes; secretary of state, Christopher Davis, 2 votes; state treasurer, Lisa J. Emerson, 2 votes; attorney general, David R. Browning, 2 votes; Eighth District representative, Stan Cuff, 2 votes; District 25 state senate, Curtis (Curt) Steward, 2 votes; 160th District representative, Lane Smith, 1 vote.

New Madrid County residents also followed the state vote on the Constitutional amendments.

On Amendment 1 which would expand gambling in the state, 2,643 county residents opposed the proposition while 2,422 voted in favor of it. The vote was more definite on Amendment 2, defining marriage in Missouri with 4,291 votes in favor of an amendment prohibiting gay marriage and 828 opposed to changing the constitution.

Portageville residents in general favored the two funding propositions put before them by the school district. On Proposition 1 the yes votes were 760 to 589 no votes to increase the district's operating levy by 50 cents while for Proposition 2, which would permit the district to receive the full benefits of the state sales tax without reducing its operating levy, there were 870 votes in favor compared to 465 no votes.