Primary election turnout driven by amendments, local races

Marion County saw the lowest voter turnout in Northeast Missouri. (H-W Photo/Michael Kipley)
Posted: Aug. 6, 2014 12:26 am Updated: Aug. 27, 2014 1:15 am

Herald-Whig Senior Writer

EDINA, Mo. -- Knox County's 48 percent turnout of registered voters in Tuesday's primary election was the highest in the region, but County Clerk Marlene Spory wasn't impressed.

She had hoped for about 60 percent of qualified voters to cast a ballot.

"That's so sad. I thought it would be a lot higher than what we had. I'm just sad that people don't take their voting rights more seriously or personally," Spory said.

Most Northeast Missouri counties had turnouts in the 30 percent range. That was better than many primary elections, due in large part to five constitutional amendment questions.

Knox County had more local choices to make than most surrounding counties, with a pair of hard-fought campaigns and a use tax.

Long-time Circuit Clerk Jim Gibbons set up one of the contests when he announced he would retire. Roma March, the assistant circuit clerk, won a four-way race for the Democratic nomination. She got nearly 53.5 percent of the vote to prevail over Karie Jo Holman, Kelly W. Hayes and Shelly Bugh. March will face Audrey Hamlin, the Republican nominee, in November.

Tom Redington won the Democratic nomination for associate circuit judge over Tom Hensley by a little more than a 2-to-1 margin. Redington was appointed to the position in January after Judge William Alberty retired.

"I'm really pleased with tonight's turnout and the margin of victory. I moved to Knox County in January to become part of this great community, and they have accepted me into their community," Redington said.

His primary election sets up a November match-up with David Brown, who was the sole Republican candidate for judge. Brown has been Knox County's prosecuting attorney.

Knox County also approved a 2 percent use tax -- that would match the local tax -- on out-of-state purchases that have been exempt from sales tax.


Clark County Republicans selected Buddy Kattelman as their presiding commissioner nominee. Brewer topped incumbent Ron Brewer by nearly a 3-2 margin.

Kattelman attributed his win to being fairly well-known in the community after teaching physical education for 25 years in Clark County schools.

"I think finances will be a big thing (for the county commission) right now," Kattelman said.

"Before I get into specifics on that I would like to talk to the department heads and see what their financial needs are and how to get the most we can get for each dollar we spend."

Kim Schantz outpolled Terry "Ray" Matlock for the Republican nomination for circuit clerk. She will face Kay Biggerstaff in November. Biggerstaff was appointed last year to fill out the unexpired term of Mary D. Jones, who resigned as an audit of the office was announced.


Lewis County Republicans selected Laura R. Geisendorfer Logsdon for recorder of deeds over Brenda Schlager.


Marion County Democrats chose Linda C. Begley in a three-way race for collector of revenue. She won 44.5 percent of the votes to out-poll Carrie Thornton Dryden and Mike Pagitt. Begley will face Republican Harry Graves in November.

Harla Friesz won the Democratic nomination for recorder of deeds in a tight race with Karla "Susie" Gosney.


Monroe County voters approved a $265,000 special school bond for roof repairs, a security system and other remodeling at Madison C3 School District. Madison residents also approved a water and sewer system bond issue of $4 million.

Christina Buie won the Democratic nomination for county clerk over Katie Riechmann. Rita Blackford Wilkerson won the party's treasurer nomination over Mary Lynn Powell.


Pike County Democrats chose Terry Burris as their nominee for presiding county commissioner over incumbent Dan Miller.


Ralls County voters approved making the prosecuting attorney a full-time position by a 2-to-1 margin. Democrats chose Sandra "Sandy" Lanier as county clerk nominee over John K. Palmer. Lanier will face Republican nominee Pansy Kolb in November.


Shelby County Presiding Commissioner Glenn Eagan won a three-way race against Lee Wood and John D. Smith. Eagan received nearly 49 percent of the votes in the Democratic race.