Filing ends today for county races

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Most incumbents in area county races will run unopposed this fall unless a challenger emerges today to contest their offices.

Filing for the Aug. 8 primary closes at 5 p.m. today. Anyone interested in becoming a candidate for county office must file with the county clerk in their county. People interested in running for a state office must travel to Jefferson City and file at the secretary of state's office.

Filing fees are $50 for county offices or state representative, $100 for circuit judge or Congress and $200 for statewide office or the U.S. Senate.

The most crowded area primary race is the Republican contest for Perry County presiding commissioner. Incumbent Thomas Sutterer is stepping down, and four candidates, including associate commissioner Patrick Naeger, have filed for the post. The other candidates include Kim Moore, a Perryville lawyer, Harley J. Geile and Carl "Topper" Leuckel.

No Democrats have filed, so the winner of the primary would get the job barring additional filings today or the entry of an independent or third-party candidate filing by petition.

County offices on the ballot this year in the region include presiding commissioner, county clerk, recorder of deeds, collector, circuit clerk, prosecuting attorney and associate circuit judge. Cape Girardeau County is electing a county auditor this year, while Perry, Bollinger and Scott counties will elect a county treasurer.

Cape Girardeau County Clerk Rodney Miller, who is retiring after 28 years in office, said he doesn't expect a rush of candidates today. Two candidates, both Republicans, have filed to replace Miller, a Democrat. Only incumbents have filed so far for the other jobs.

"I am surprised," Miller said. "The jobs are responsible jobs, and the salaries are getting up there."

The only area incumbents with primary opposition so far are Sue Oster, recorder of deeds for Perry County, who will face Jackie Wengert of Perryville in the Republican primary, and Associate Circuit Judge David Mann of Scott County, who will be opposed by Scott Horman in the Democratic primary.

Candidate filing for state offices also hasn't resulted in any primary challengers to incumbent officeholders. There are, however, a few new entries from recent filings.

The 158th House District seat currently held by state Rep. Nathan Cooper attracted Libertarian George H. Webster III of Cape Girardeau. Democrat Matt Hill, a Cape Girardeau lawyer, filed earlier this month against Cooper, a Republican.

The 160th District House seat, which includes western Scott County and a piece of southern Cape Girardeau County, has no incumbent. Democrat Larry Tetley of Sikeston filed for the post. Republican Ellen Brandom is running on the Republican ticket.

Democrats will have a primary for the right to challenge incumbent U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson for her 8th District post. Gene Curtis of Matthews, Mo., filed for his fourth run for the job. Curtis' opponent in the primary is Veronica Hambacker of Salem, a retired teacher.

Libertarian Brandon C. McCollough of Cape Girardeau also entered the 8th District race last week.

335-6611, extension 126

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