NEW MADRID - Tuesday's hot temperatures seem to forecast the hot races faced by several candidates for office in New Madrid County.
Some 4,158 voters cast ballots Tuesday, down from what New Madrid County Clerk Clement Cravens had predicted. According to Cravens, four years ago there were 5,600 voters who cast ballots in the August primary.
"Maybe it was the weather, or voter apathy but this was 1,500 less than what I anticipated," said Cravens. "I was disappointed in the turnout."
With all the races for county offices on the Democratic ticket, a majority of the voters picked up a Democratic ballot. There were 3,626 Democratic ballots cast, 530 for the Republican party and two ballots cast for the Libertarian slate.
The closest race of the evening was for New Madrid County sheriff with incumbent Terry Stevens defeating challenger Anthony Young by just 52 votes. Stevens tallied 1,804 votes to 1,752 for Young.
"That was a nailbiter," said Stevens as the final numbers were announced. "I'm very thankful and humbled to know that I will be the sheriff for the next four years. I thank the good Lord for bringing me through this."
A second close race was for public administrator. Without an incumbent seeking re-election, the job will be filled by H. Riley Bock, who defeated Terri L. Adams by just 56 votes. Bock polled 1,720 votes compared to 1,684 cast for Adams.
In a three-way race for first district commissioner, incumbent Mark Baker easily outdistanced his challengers. Baker had over 57 percent of the vote with 1,135 ballots cast for him compared to 602 for Barry Bennett and Fred Thatch receiving 251 votes.
Second District Commissioner Don Day was returned to office by voters who cast 1,029 votes in his favor. Jerry Scherer had 456 votes cast for him in the race.
Day said he was pleased to be returned to office. He added his priorities for the next four years will be to work on the budget and working with the communities in the county.
The voters elected incumbent Jimmy McSpadden to serve another term as coroner. McSpadden easily outdistanced Jeremy C. Ruby, 2,506 to 821.
County candidates unopposed on the ballot were Ronnie A. Simmons, assessor, 2,945 votes; Tommy Bradley, treasurer, 2,615 votes; and Michael Allgier, 2,682 votes to fill a two-year unexpired term as auditor.
The only other county issue involved a small section for the county seeking to form a Public Water Supply District. There were 84 votes in favor of permanently forming the district while eight votes were cast against the proposal.
On the Democratic ticket in the governor's race, Jeremiah W. (Jay) Nixon received 2,403 votes in New Madrid County and 655 votes were cast for Daniel Carroll.
The vote count was close for the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor with Sam Page leading the list with 656 votes followed by Michael E. Carter, 558; Mary Williams, 419; Richard Charles Tolbert, 418; Becky L. Plattner, 381; and C. Lillian Metzger, 198.
Robin Carnahan was unopposed on the Democratic ballot for Secretary of State and received 2,499 votes.
In the race for state treasurer, New Madrid County voters picked Mark Powell with 1,366 votes cast in his favor. There were 592 votes for Charles B. Wheeler, 447 for Andria Danine Simckes; and 225 for Clint Zweifel.
Jeff Harris earned the most votes in the county for attorney general with 1,267 cast in his favor. There were 785 votes cast for Chris Koster, 531 for Margaret Donnelly and 305 for Molly Williams.
Without opposition on the Democratic ticket were: Joe Allen, Eighth District representative, 2,236 votes; M. Shane Stoelting, 25th District state senator, 2,092 votes; 161st State Representative Steve Hodges, 1,659; and 162nd State Representative Terry Swinger, 987 votes.
On the Republican ballot, Kenny Hulshof was the pick for a majority of the New Madrid County voters for the nomination as governor. Hulshof received 448 votes while there were 65 votes cast for Sarah Steelman, 12 for Scott Long and 2 for Jennie Lee Schwartze Sievers.
In the race for lieutenant governor on the Republican ticket Peter Kinder was the leading vote-getter for the nomination with 450 votes. There were 23 votes cast for Paul Douglas Sims and 22 for Arthur Hodge Sr.
Running without opposition on the Republican primary ballot were: Mitchell (Mitch) Huber, secretary of state, 375; Brad Lager, treasurer, 379; Mike Gibbons, attorney general, 374; Jo Ann Emerson, Eighth District representative, 486; Robert (Rob) Mayor, 25th District state senator, 391; and Ellen Brandon, 160th District representative, 89.
The Libertarian candidates each received two votes in New Madrid County. Running were Andrew W. Finkenstadt, governor; Teddy Fleck, lieutenant governor; Wes Upchurch, secretary of state; and Brandon C. McCullough, Eighth District representative.