Races emerge for Barry County offices
Presiding commissioner, prosecutor races to be contested
Two major races have developed for Barry County seats, both turning into three-way contests as filings closed this week for the Aug. 5 primary election.
For presiding commissioner, five-term incumbent Cherry Warren, of Exeter, will face Eddie Davison, of Shell Knob, and Terry Burgess of rural Seligman. Davison, a retired hardware store owner, served as southern commissioner in Barry County from 2004 to 2008 and has remained active in the Tea Party in Shell Knob. This is Burgess's first bid for public office. All are running for the Republican nomination. No Democrats filed for the position.
For prosecuting attorney, Amy Boxx, a partner in the Monett law firm of Randall, Boxx and Masri, who has served as prosecutor for the city of Monett since December 2007, filed. Boxx has practiced law in Monett for 18 years. Also running for the Republican nomination is Steve Dunker, of Cassville, a former police detective for the city of Joplin who taught law out of state. Dunker works for the state in the 39th Judicial Circuit on child support issues. Matthew Weatherman, of Golden, who served as an intern to outgoing prosecutor Johnnie Cox, also filed. Weatherman has worked in the public defender's office and resigned Tuesday so he could run for office. This is the first bid by all three candidates for county office. Pat Sullivan, Cox's assistant, filed but withdrew from the race.
No opposition formed for the other open offices.
Cox, the three-term county prosecutor, is assured a seat on the bench as the unopposed candidate for the Division 1 associate circuit judgeship. Robert Foulke received no challenge for a second term in the Division 2 seat.
Janice Varner is assured a fourth term as collector. Gary Youngblood is assured a sixth term as clerk. Lois Lowe is assured a sixth term as treasurer.
In the 158th House district, which includes most of Barry County and the western two-thirds of Pierce City, one-term incumbent Scott Fitzpatrick, R-Shell Knob, was the only candidate who filed, assuring him of re-election. State Sen. David Sater, R-Cassville, is not up for re-election until 2016.