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Four Stoddard County offices to be contested
BLOOMFIELD, Mo. -- Four offices in Stoddard County government and three district offices will be contested in the November general election. Republican Mike Watkins of Dexter filed for county collector/treasurer and will be unopposed in the August primary election. Democratic incumbent Carla Knowles Moore filed for re-election with no opposition in the primary. The two will meet in the general election. Also on the last day to file, Ryan William Holder of Advance filed as a Democratic candidate for Missouri's 151st House District.
Several other county races have drawn interest and will be contested. The retirement of Democratic Commissioner Frank Sifford in District 1 prompted five people to seek that seat. Republicans Steve Jordan and Danny Talkington will meet in the primary, while Democrats Kenneth Carney and Dale Moreland will also face each other in the primary. The winners in the primary and Libertarian Jason Williams will meet in November. Incumbent Commissioner Carol Jarrell, a Republican, in District 2 drew an opponent in Democrat Al Banken. Those two will also meet in the primary.
The other contested county race will pit Democrat Kenny Pope against Republican Darrell Penberthy for county coroner. Incumbent Aaron Mathis did not seek re-election. He was appointed to that position.
Republicans Doug Libla of Poplar Bluff and Billy Pat Wright of Dexter will vie in August to challenge Democrat Terry Swinger of Caruthersville in the November election in the 25th Senate District. Both Wright and Swinger are current members of the state House of Representatives. They have both served their maximum time due to term limits in their positions. Libla is a Poplar Bluff businessman.
Four have filed to fill the 151st District seat, vacated by Wright. Republicans Bob Thrower of Dexter and Dennis Fowler of Advance will meet in the primary. Democrats Gary Gaines of Dexter and Holder will also meet in the primary. The 151st District was the result of redistricting after the 2010 census, and primarily consists of Stoddard County with a small part of Scott County.
County residents will also have a choice for circuit judge in the 35th District, which includes Stoddard and Dunklin counties. Republican Robert Mayer of Dexter faces Democrat Steve Mitchell of Dexter in the November election. Mayer served in the state Senate where he was president pro tem. Current Associate Judge Steve Mitchell is seeking the office as well. Incumbent Stephen Sharp is not seeking re-election.
Several county incumbents did not draw opposition. They include Democratic Assessor Jody Lemmon, Public Administrator Pam Lape, a Democrat, and Sheriff Carl Hefner.