Scott County races pit north against south

Monday, July 31, 2006

By MATT SANDERS

Southeast Missourian

All four candidates in Scott County's contested primary races say they have widespread support throughout the county.

But if their financial reports are any indication, the race is shaping up to be one of north versus south.

The two candidates for office from the county's population and economic center of Sikeston enjoy a substantial financial advantage according documents filed July 15. That advantage comes almost entirely from Sikeston. Both presiding commissioner candidate Glenn A. Pinkerton and incumbent associate circuit judge David Mann hail from Sikeston.

Their opponents -- current second district commissioner Jamie Burger and private practice lawyer Scott Horman -- are from Benton and Chaffee, respectively.

"People put their vote where their money is," said Pinkerton. "Any time I've watched an election over the years, the candidate with good financial backing typically has a lot of success at the polls."

There are a total of 10 seats up for election in the county.

Both Burger and Horman said they have substantial backing throughout the county, just not the monetary kind. Both said the amount of money they've raised doesn't necessarily mean they don't have as much support as their opponents.

"I don't think that the finances are a factor," said Horman. "I think what the voters want to see is that their candidates are out working, knocking on doors and presenting a concentrated effort."

Both Pinkerton and Mann share some of the same financial backers in Sikeston, but Pinkerton said that's merely a coincidence.

"I do not connect myself with any other candidate with any race in this county," said Pinkerton. "If there's some correlation of supporters, it must be the fact that we're both from Sikeston and have some of the same friends."

Pinkerton, who graduated from Kelly High School, also has some financial backing from residents in the northern part of the county, as does Mann. In his campaign literature Mann also uses testimonials from residents throughout the county hailing the job he's done in his two-plus decades in office.

Mann also has financial backing from the Missourians for Good Government PAC, Craftsman Independent Union, Craftsman International Union, Kelley Transportation and Nip Kelley Equipment Co., all in Cape Girardeau.

"Wherever somebody lives, if they want to send a contribution, I'm grateful," he said. Mann didn't elaborate on his relationship with the Cape Girardeau entities.

In the presiding commissioner's race, Pinkerton has another advantage over Burger besides money -- voter rolls provided by the Missouri Democratic Party. Pinkerton said the lists have allowed him to target voters in the county more efficiently. Burger said he didn't ask for voter rolls because he didn't feel he needed them with his door-to-door approach to campaigning.

But all the candidates say issues, experience and personality are more important to winning than financial backing.

Pinkerton's primary platform has been opposition to the vacancy that would be created if Burger is elected presiding commissioner. Burger is now in the middle of his second term, and if elected a vacancy would be created that would require an appointment by the governor.

Pinkerton said the governor's political party doesn't matter, just that the will of the people would be usurped. Burger was elected for a four-year term and should serve out his four years, said Pinkerton.

But Burger said the only way he can be presiding commissioner is to vacate his current seat, since the terms are staggered.

Pinkerton sees the presiding commissioner seat as equal to the other two commissioners, with the added responsibility of presiding over meetings and government business. However, Burger sees the position as a figurehead and chief political officer in the county, and says that commission experience is important to the seat.

In the judge's race, Mann says his experience in the office is the reason voters should elect him. His campaign signs and literature tout him as "the only Mann with experience."

In Horman's mind, Mann's long uncontested reign is the exact reason voters should choose to make a change in the office. Since his first election to the seat Mann hasn't faced a challenger.

msanders@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 182

David Mann

Party: Democrat

Office sought: Scott County Associate Circuit Judge, Div. 5

Age: 57

Occupation: Scott County Associate Circuit Judge, Division 5

Education: Bachelor of Science degree in finance and economy at Murray State University, Jurist Doctorate at Memphis State University School of Law

Personal: Married to wife Beth for 35 years. They have one daughter, Mary Elizabeth.

Political experience: 26 years as judge

Scott Horman

Party: Democrat

Office sought: Scott County Associate Circuit Judge, Div. 5

Age: 30

Occupation: Private practice attorney

Education: Bachelor of Science degree in business management at Central Methodist University, Jurist Doctorate at University of Missouri Columbia School of Law

Personal: Married, 9 years. Wife Leslie; two children, Garner and Griffin

Political experience: None

Jamie Burger

Party: Democrat

Office sought: Scott County Presiding Commissioner

Age: 48

Occupation: Scott County Commissioner, supervisor at Buzzi Unicem in Cape Girardeau

Education: Kelly High School

Personal: Wife, Sherry; three daughters, Vanessa, Allison and Paris; grandson

Political experience: Six years as associate commissioner district two

Glenn Pinkerton

Party: Democrat

Office sought: Scott County Presiding Commissioner

Age: 60

Occupation: Business owner

Education: Sikeston High School, Moler Barber College of St. Louis

Personal: Married, 38 years. Glenn Edith. One son, Troy; three grandchildren.

Political experience: Member of Sikeston Board of Education for six years, served as president, vice president and secretary; ran unsuccessfully for Scott County Collector in 1998

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