NEW MADRID - It was an election marked by contrasts. Some races were won by a single vote while other seats failed to draw even a write-in candidate. Some New Madrid County municipalities will have new leaders while in many others, the incumbents easily defeated any challengers.
Fewer than 20 percent of the county's elegible voters cast ballots Tuesday with 2,532 votes cast throughout the county. Totals, provided by the office of New Madrid County Clerk Clement Cravens, are unofficial.
Canalou voters were to fill Ward 1 alderman's seat with a write-in vote and Rose Mary Riddel received 7 votes while Steve Joyce polled 1. In Ward 2, Gary Deen was the sole candidate for a full two-year term and received 11 votes; for an unexpired term, John Slayton had one vote cast in his favor.
Voters in Catron picked three trustees from a field of three with Danny L. Pride receiving 13 votes and Lee Boyd and Carol Givens earning 11 apiece.
There were races in Ward 1 and Ward 2 in Gideon. Debbie Montgomery easily won her race for Ward 1 alderman receiving 55 votes to 37 votes for challenger Eddy Moore. A three-way race in Ward 2 was much closer with Heather Skidmore Hitt coming out on top with 29 votes to 24 votes for Lindal Cossey and 14 votes for Lee Downing. For a Ward 1 unexpired term, Eric Johnson was the only candidate and received 76 votes.
Neither of the Howardville candidates were opposed. In Ward 1, Tommie Fountain had 20 votes and in Ward 2, Albert Mead had 12 votes.
The race for Lilbourn's city marshal went to Joshua P. Jinks, who was filling the office by appointment. Jinks was elected with 126 votes compared to 71 votes for Donald Deprow Jr. In the Ward races, Larry Jackson was elected Ward 1 alderman with 55 votes over challengers Grady Williford, 12 votes, and Johnnie Baker, 11 votes; while in Ward 2 Michael Roberts easily defeated Dan Ruark, 93 to 29 votes.
It was only one vote that separated the winner from the loser in Marston Ward 1. Junior Phillips defeated incumbent Allen Leon Hampton, 52 to 51. In Ward 2 the voters gave the nod to Bill Poley who received 30 votes edging out Debra Jean Hayes, who had 27 votes.
Matthews voters gave their support to Gene Curtis for mayor. Curtis polled 122 votes over challenger Thomas "Bud" Armstrong, who had 55 votes. Ward 1 will be represented by Jim Burch, who got 31 votes to defeat Joe Sparks, who had 15 votes. In Ward 2 the race was much closer with Harland Gilmer Jr. taking the lead 68 votes to 64 votes for Rodney Dunlap.
Morehouse Mayor Pete Leija will have another term of office after defeating challenger Rodney Dunlap by 195 votes to 146 votes. Voters also decided to stay with the incumbent as city collector giving Karen Williams 277 votes over 64 votes for her opponent Shannon McCoy. However there will be a new city marshal after Jackie W. Hays Jr. defeated Trish Cohen, 258 votes to 85. In Ward 2, Gerald Williams had 106 votes to defeat Eddie Stinnett, who polled 34 votes in the race to serve on the Board of Alderman. Running without opposition were Police Judge Angela Webb (288 votes) and Ward 1 alderman Judy Gosnell-Greene (147 votes).
It was a three-way race to serve as New Madrid's mayor for an unexpired term and the voters gave their support to newcomer Donnie Brown. Brown, with 337 votes, defeated Glen W. Medlin, who had 266 votes, and Russell J. Riggs, 162 votes. There will also be a new Ward 3 board member with Margaret Palmer winning the post by a vote of 157 over Tony Maltbia, who had 124 votes. Unopposed in the election were incumbents, Ward 1 boardmember Howard E. Crisler, 149 votes; and Ward 2 boardmember Dwayne Stanley, 214 votes. New Madrid voters overwhelmingly opposed a tax proposition on the ballot defeating the measure 461 no votes to 280 yes votes.
No one was offered as the third person to serve on the North Lilbourn Board of Trustees with declared candidates Barry Martin and John Richard Hughes receiving 11 and 12 votes respectively.
Neither of the Parma candidates faced opposition. Ward 1 voters elected Oscar Sapp to the board of aldermen with 14 votes and in Ward 2, 28 voters cast ballots for Simon Wofford.
Only one race was contested in Portageville. In Ward 1, Vincent Berry gathered 52 votes to defeat Jake C. Rone, who had 49 votes. The other office holders, all unopposed on the ballot, will be, J.D. Patton, mayor, 168 votes; Ronnie G. Adams, city marshal, 168 votes; and Ervin Gremard, Ward 2 alderman, 76 votes.
None of the candidates on the Risco ballots faced opposition. The unofficial tallies are: Nina Cumins, city marshal, 25 votes; Julian Miller, East Ward alderman, 11 votes; and Alta Rader, West Ward alderman, 16 votes.
In Tallapoosa, write-in votes filled the office of city marshal, Totals show Russell A. Deprow with 6 votes and Randy Deprow with 1 vote. There were 11 votes cast for Jack Clark to serve as North Ward alderman and in the South Ward, Alice Darmofal won the race for alderman with 15 votes, defeating Donna Roberts, 4 votes, and Orville Roberts, 2 votes.
A portion of Sikeston is in New Madrid County and in that precinct, Sue Rogers received 101 votes to serve as the city's at-large council member.
Newcomer Kay Rebstock led the totals for the New Madrid County R-1 School District gathering 1,035 votes followed by incumbent boardmembers, Scott Riley, 1,018 votes and Don Brittain, 791 votes. Marvelle Cranford polled 410 votes in the race followed by Ralph Borton, who had 331 votes.
There was a race to serve on the Gideon School Board as well with the three seats going to Kevin Lawrence, 199 votes; Tim Winchester, 191 votes; Devon Buchanan, 153 votes. Challenger Courtney Boone had 100 votes.
Those New Madrid County residents in the Sikeston R-6 School District approved a school bond proposal, passing the issue with 267 yes votes to 193 no votes.