NEW MADRID - An unusually large number of write-in candidates slowed the counting process for the New Madrid County Clerk's office, requiring election officials to hand-count votes as the electronic ballot machine also clicked along. In at least one case, according to unofficial totals provided by County Clerk Clement Cravens following Tuesday's election, the write-in candidate defeated a declared candidate.
Tuesday's election also saw approval of two sales tax issues in Marston and a decision by Parma voters to appoint the office of collector.
Declared write-in candidate Charles Joyce tallied 38 votes for mayor of Canalou apparently defeating James D. Taul, who received 37 votes. Also Canalou voters gave the nod to Blake Sindle as the Canalou city marshal; Sindle tallied 61 votes over his opponent Jimmie Fowler Jr., who had 13 votes.
In the other contested Canalou race Rebecca A. Lasters had 49 votes to be elected police judge over John Slayton who received 29 votes. Running without opposition was Thelma Slayton, who received 58 votes for city collector; Steve Joyce, who had 25 votes to serve as Ward 1 alderman; and Debbie Harris, who was elected Ward 2 alderman with 37 votes.
Catron voters elected two trustees. Barbara Matlock had 7 votes and Joe Pride garnered 9 votes.
Lee Downing edged out two other candidates to be elected mayor of Gideon. Downing polled 160 votes compared to 144 votes for Lawrence "Toby" Jordan and 40 votes for Ron Wilburn. Also closely contested was the race for chief of police in Gideon with James Pickard edging out Tommy Goings, 182-161.
Also contested in Gideon were the races for alderman. In the North Ward, Scott Earnheart was the top vote-getter with 94 votes over 85 votes for Eric Johnson. The South Ward seat for alderman will go to Heather Pickard, who earned 75 votes, compared to 59 votes for Jerry Skidmore and 18 votes for Lindal R. Cossey.
In the Gideon School District, there were seven candidates filed to fill the two openings on the board. Earning the most votes were Joe Woolverton with 225 and Cindy Parker with 166. Other vote tallies were: Bill McCain, 89; Claude Owens, 72; Shane Marcus, 61; Larry Boone, 112; and Timothy Lynn Stanfield, 129.
Howardville's incumbent mayor was returned to office. Clennon "Jim" Farr won a three-way race, polling 71 votes with Earnestine Jackson receiving 35 votes and Jessie Newson Jr. gathering 63 votes.
From a field of five candidates for Howardville's Ward 1 alderman, Demetrius Moore emerged the winner with 55 votes. Vote tallies for the other candidates were: Billy Ray Brown, 2; Marvelle Cranford, 24; Xavier Matthews, 17; and Robert Young, 11. Unopposed for Ward 2 alderman, Mary L. Johnson had 46 votes.
Dale Ray was elected Lilbourn's mayor by polling 179 votes over Frank Ash, who had 110 votes. Two seats on the board of aldermen were also contested with Robert Taylor easily winning the Ward 1 alderman's slot with 69 votes over his opponents, Johnnie R. Baker, 22 votes, and Danny Sprouse, 21 votes while in Ward 2 voters gave the nod to Alvin Bobo, who had 91 votes compared to 64 votes for Dan Ruark. Unopposed in Tuesday's election were: Yvonne Morgan, city collector, 252; Dennis Young, city marshal, 258; and Richard Kolwyck, municipal judge, 242.
With no declared candidates for Marston police judge, election judges tallied a list of candidates who earned a vote. Leading the list of write-ins was Lester Moore with 7. Votes also went to: Gary Cook, 3, Eddie Long Jr., 3; Cindy Poo, 1; Nole Snyder, 1; Dustin Redden, 4; Wayne Ruby, 2; Sydney Williams, 2; George Lance, 2; Billy Edgar, 1; and Glenn Hayes, 1.
Marston voters did give the nod to two separate one-half of 1 percent sales tax issues. Passed by a vote of 89 yes to 84 no was a sales tax which will be used to improve streets while a second sales which is to be used for capital improvements for the police and fire departments was approved with 97 yes votes and 74 no votes.
Unopposed on the Marston ballot were: Rebecca Redden, mayor, 121 votes; Wayne Newsom, north ward alderman, 71 votes; and Dustin Redden, south ward alderman, 57 votes.
In Matthews, Eddie Polk took the Ward 1 alderman's seat when he received 15 votes compared to Freddy Daniels' 12 votes. Armand Porter will serve as Ward 2 alderman, defeating Thomas "Bud" Armstrong, 48 to 33 votes. Rodney Dunlap was unopposed for an unexpired term as Ward 2 alderman and had 59 votes.
None of the candidates in Morehouse faced opposition. The vote tallies were: Donna Brashears, Ward 1 alderman, 35 votes, and Jackie Hays Sr., Ward 2 alderman, 12 votes.
There will be two new faces around the alderman's desk in New Madrid since two current alderman did not seek re-election. Dick Bodi will represent voters in Ward 1, having received 95 votes over opponents Judy Taylor, 41 votes, and Phil Pfuehler, 26 votes. While in Ward 3, Brad Kolwyck defeated Harold Allred by a vote of 95 to 74.
Unopposed for office in New Madrid were incumbents: Mayor Donnie Brown, 320 votes; Collector Sherry Phillips, 330 votes; City Marshal Claude Jerome McFerren, 295 votes; Police Judge Bill Boyd, 300 votes; and Ward 2 Alderman Russell J. Riggs, 35 votes.
North Lilbourn voters elected Lewis Moore and Lonnie B. Moore to serve full terms as village trustees by a vote of 21 and 23 respectively. For a one-year unexpired term, once again a write-in candidate impacted the race with 11 write-in votes for Ernest McFerren and 16 votes for Leonard Thomas.
Parma voters overwhelmingly approved a proposal to make the city's collector an appointed office by a vote of 35 yes to 8 no votes. The proposition to sell $500,000 in bonds to fund improvements to the sewerage and water system had 30 yes votes to 13 no votes to be passed by more than a two-to-one margin. Also Parma voters elected Steve Lewis Ward 1 alderman with 13 votes and Barry Aycock as Ward 2 alderman with 27 votes.
Rodi Walker was easily elected Portageville Ward 2 alderman in the only contested city race. Walker had 157 votes over 93 votes for his opponent Kathy Klipfel. In Ward 1 Rick Rhoades, who was unopposed, had 78 votes.
Elected to the Portageville School Board were Ronnie Adams and Donney Benthal Jr. Benthal led the vote count with 315 votes while Adams had 307 and running a distant third was Lee Ann Wallace with 142 votes.
There was another group of write-in candidates offered by voters to serve as Risco's mayor with incumbent Mayor Don Lancaster, who did not seek re-
election, gathering 34 votes. Also votes were cast for Jim King, 30; Nathan Woods, 2; David Kimball, 2; and Claton Knight, 1.
In the West Ward there was even a longer list of candidates offered by Risco voters for the spot of alderman, which had no declared candidate. Votes went to Prentiss Cartee, 10; Joe Rowe, 8; Rhonda Duckworth, 7; Jim Simpson, 4; Timmy Meadows, 2; and each receiving 1 vote were Brandon Knight, Bert Todd and Doyle Gray. The East Ward declared candidate was Bert Todd, who received 37 votes.
For Risco School District, the two openings will be filled by Clayton Knight and Curt Patterson, who received 108 and 95 votes respectively. Losing the race were Sonya Landers, 36 votes, and Eddie Earnheart, 37 votes.
A portion of the city of Sikeston and the Sikeston School district dip into New Madrid County. Those residents of the city who reside in New Madrid County gave Mike Marshall, 45 votes for mayor and David Teachout, 42 votes for Ward 1 alderman. On the school board the vote went as follows: Ann W. Jones, 54; Julia Crader Dolan, 53; and Scott Crumpecker, 81.
Tallapoosa's mayor will be Kathy Joiner, who polled 40 votes to defeat Frank Smith, who had 10 votes. Barbara Copeland received 32 votes to serve as city clerk, and Kelly J. Deprow, 22 votes for North Ward alderman. Once again the write-in votes picked a candidate with Brenda Miller receiving 5 votes to serve as South Ward alderman while Amy Whitlock and Alice Darmofol each had a vote cast for them.
Overall there were 2,440 votes cast in the election, which the county clerk described as a low turnout.