Cape Girardeau County judge won't preside over Mississippi County recount

Sunday, December 19, 2010

CHARLESTON, Mo. -- Mississippi County officials will have to wait on the Missouri Supreme Court to assign another judge before a recount in the presiding county commissioner race.

Leigh Ann Colson, circuit court clerk, said a motion for a change of judge was filed Monday and approved Wednesday.

The Missouri Supreme Court had appointed Judge Gary Kamp of the 32nd Judicial Circuit to hear the recount petition after Circuit Judge David A. Dolan of the 33rd Circuit recused himself.

It will be up to the next judge to decide the recount and, if a recount is approved, set a date for it to be completed.

"The law says everything should be done ASAP," Mississippi County Clerk Junior DeLay said.

Both candidates and their attorneys have agreed on Stephen R. Mitchell, an associate circuit judge for the 35th Circuit Court in Stoddard County, "but the Supreme Court has to make the appointment official," DeLay noted.

Democrat Jack Feezor filed his petition requesting a hand recount on Nov. 29.

According to state statutes, a candidate can request a recount within 30 days of the election if they are within 1 percent of their opponent. Republican Carlin Bennett defeated Feezor by seven votes.

DeLay said if the recount is not completed by Jan. 1, Bennett will be sworn in as presiding commissioner to serve until the recount.

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