Over 37 percent of Barry County's 20,271 registered voters cast a ballot in Tuesday's primary election. An increase in voter interest could be credited to a number of highly contested races on the Republican ticket.
Barry County voters strongly supported Scott Fitzpatrick, of Shell Knob, in the contest for a 158th District seat in the Missouri House of Representatives on the Republican ballot. The race attracted three candidate hopefuls.
Fitzpatrick garnered 2,718 votes. Mike Bennett finished second with 2,157 votes, and Frank Washburn finished third among the candidates with 1,575 votes.
The tightest race of the night proved to be the contest for Barry County Sheriff. Incumbent Mick Epperly outpaced challenger David Bowman by claiming 50.63 percent of the votes with a 3,301 vote total. Bowman attracted 3,219 votes.
The contest for Barry County public administrator, which was another close race, pitted Pam Modlin against Stormy Holtzman. Modlin narrowly claimed the victory by earning 3,217 votes to Holtzman's 3,114.
Gary Schad pulled ahead of his competitors in the run for Barry County northern commissioner. Schad earned 28.6 percent of the vote with a total of 767 ballots cast in his favor. Eddie Dummit finished second with 592 votes, and David Redshaw finished third with 532 votes.
Other northern county commissioner candidates included: Duane Kaiser, who earned 431 votes; Tom Hutchens, who earned 227 votes; and Machelle Vanderpool, who earned 133 votes.
In the biggest victory of the night, David Sater, Republican candidate for a 29th District Senate seat, ran away with the election by earning 79.66 percent of the votes in Barry County. He received 5,116 votes to James Strahan's 557 votes, Jim Strafuss' 488 votes and Gayle Wridge's 261 votes. Results from the other counties in the 29th District were not available at presstime.
The Southwest School District's $1.5 million bond issue once again fell short of receiving 58 percent of the vote. The issue was only approved by 49.71 percent of voters.
Proposition Safety, which would have funded the construction of a new music room at the high school and new elementary and middle school offices, received 343 "yes" votes. There were 347 voters who opposed the issue.
Although Washburn voters approved the issue by 52.25 percent, Seligman voters opposed the issue by 57.67 percent. A total of 151 votes were cast in favor of Proposition Safety and 138 voters opposed the issue in the Washburn precinct. The issue garnered 91 "yes" votes and 124 "no" votes in the Seligman precinct.
Complete ballot tallies for all races on both the Democrat and Republican tickets are listed on page 6. These results, which were released around 8:15 p.m. Tuesday night, are unofficial.