With 66 percent of the total vote, Jack Goodman, Republican, of Mt. Vernon, won yesterday's special election to fill the unexpired state senate term of Larry Gene Taylor, who died July 6.
Nolan McNeill, of Cassville, was a candidate for the senate seat on the Democratic ticket, and Robert E. Hempker, of Hollister, was a candidate on the Libertarian ticket.
Goodman won in all six counties included in District 29. In Barry County, unofficial results showed Goodman received 2,631 votes, or 62 percent, McNeill received 1,488 votes, 35 percent, and Hempker received 82 votes, 2 percent.
Unofficial percentage totals for the other counties in District 29 were: Lawrence County, Goodman, 76 percent, McNeill 21 percent, and Hempker, 2 percent; McDonald County, Goodman, 57, McNeill 41, and Hempker, 2; Stone County, Goodman, 65, McNeill, 31, and Hempker, 4; Taney County, 66, McNeill, 29, and Hempker, 5; and Ozark County, Goodman 59, McNeill, 33, and Hempker, 9.
Goodman is currently serving his second term as 132nd District state representative and is assistant majority floor leader in the Missouri House of Representatives. He graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law, has served as the Dade County assistant prosecuting attorney and is a past president of the 39th Judicial Circuit Bar Association.
McNeill was the unanimous choice of the 29th Democratic Senate Committee, which he chairs. McNeill served in the Missouri House of Representatives for 10 years in the late 1980s and early 1990s. When McNeill was first elected state representative, he became the first Democrat to win the seat since 1937. He also spent four years as Presiding Judge of Barry County.
Hempker is a professional musician who plays in the Branson show, "Country Tonite."
Taylor was elected to the Missouri Senate in 2004 after serving one term in the Missouri House of Representatives.
Other election issues
The Village of Butterfield held the only other election in Barry County on Tuesday. Butterfield presented three issues to voters. The first asked voters to decide whether the Village should become a fourth class city. That measure passed by a vote of 29 (57 percent) to 22 (43 percent).
"The fourth class city issue was probably the most significant issue on the ballot," said Butterfield Clerk Georgia Wenell. "It would give the city greater jurisdiction. Now, if we want to vacate a street, we have to go to the county, and the county is required to do the collection of real estate and personal property taxes, and we pay 5 percent for that service. As a fourth-class city, we could collect our own taxes.
"It also takes us into a different form of government, a mayor and four aldermen," Wenell said. "Currently, a board of trustees is elected, and the chairman is elected by the board. I think it gives the people more control, because the mayor would be elected directly by the people."
Butterfield also presented propositions for a one-cent sales tax and a $25 annual business license fee, neither of which the Village currently has. The sales tax measure passed with 29 votes in favor and 23 votes against, 56 percent to 44 percent. The proposition to require business licenses failed with 26 opposed and 25 in favor.
Wenell said the sales tax will not generate much revenue for the Village currently, because there are only one or two businesses that produce "tangible goods" that would be taxable. She said the board felt it would be easier to pass the measure now, rather than later, if more businesses moved into Butterfield.
Butterfield currently has about 10 businesses operating within the Village limits. Wenell said requiring business licenses was intended to give the Village some recourse against businesses that violate city ordinances.