Nine candidates file for Cape County commission seat

Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Individuals filing to run for county positions waited outside County Clerk Kara Clark's office before it opened Tuesday morning, at the Cape Girardeau County Administrative Building in Jackson. Nine filed this morning for the county commission seat being vacated by Larry Bock. (Kit Doyle)

For a list of candidates who've filed so far click here.

Nine of the 11 announced candidates for the District 1 seat on the Cape Girardeau County Commission filed for office this morning, setting up what could be the most hard-fought local political battle for 2008.

Of the nine filed candidates, eight are Republicans. Candidates started lining up outside County Clerk Kara Clark's office door shortly before 8 a.m.

Clark had filing paperwork and instruction materials for complying with state ethics laws ready for all the announced candidates.

The first people through the door, however, were not candidates for commission but two men seeking re-election. John Clifton, the county coroner, was first in line, followed by Jerry Reynolds, the long-serving county assessor.

As the candidates waited for the doors to open, they joked among themselves, talked about whether they are related -- Bill Hahs, owner of SEMO Ag & Dairy is a first cousin of the wife of Jeff Hahs, an Oak Ridge contractor, but the two are not directly related -- and made other small talk.

The District 1 commission seat is open because incumbent Republican Larry Bock is not seeking re-election after 16 years in office.

No candidates filed by 9:30 a.m. for the District 2 commission seat held by Republican Jay Purcell, who plans to run for his second term.

The filing day is a first for Clark -- she won the office in 2006 and has not been through the filing process before. As each candidate came in, they pulled a numbered ball from a small hand-cranked cylinder to set the order for their names on the August primary ballot.

"It was exciting," Clark said as the first rush of candidates finished filing. "We were excited about coming in. Our adrenaline was up."

For updates, check back at or read Wednesday's Southeast Missourian.

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