Warren wins 6th term as commissioner
Incumbent edges out challenger by 141 votes
Barry County Presiding Commissioner Cherry Warren won a sixth consecutive term Tuesday night, defeating one of his challengers by only 141 votes.
Warren, 75, of rural Exeter, won Tuesday's Republican primary with an unofficial count of 44 percent (2,360 votes). Coming in second was Eddie Davison, 65, of Shell Knob received 42 percent (2,219 votes), and in third was Terry Burgess, 31, of Seligman received 14 percent (734 votes).
Warren will not face a general election opponent, and will serve another four years.
"I'm thankful I won," Warren said. "I want to thank the people of Barry County for electing me to another term and I plan to work hard for the interests of the county."
Davison, a former southern commissioner, said he had concerns about the results because election official John Sullivan, before reading the first few precincts' results to a crowd outside the courthouse, said there was an issue with the voting machines.
"I would have to wonder if there was any equipment failure," Davison said. "It would be interesting to know what that was because there was no explanation. It's probably OK, but it's interesting that was the first thing that was said."
Gary Youngblood, Barry County clerk, said there was an issue in which the digital cards holding vote counts were not being read by the computer, but the issue was quickly resolved and had no effect on the vote count.
When it comes to running for the position again, Davison said he was not sure.
"The vote was close, and I think we need to take some time to digest the events of [Tuesday] evening," he said.
Burgess, a first-time candidate for commissioner and the youngest of the three, said he is likely to run for the position again.
"I'm leaning that way," he said. "I think I've got a good platform to build on and for a guy that wasn't as well-known, I think I pulled some support.
"I'm thankful for everyone who supported me and believed in what I was trying to do."
Warren said with his re-election, he is excited to continue working for the county.
"It's hard to say what my goals will be because we don't know what the money is yet," he said. "But, our sales tax has been looking pretty good, and if that continues, we'd like to get our reserves back up to a manageable level, and we're making progress there.
"Roads and transportation have always been high on my agenda, so I'll look to see more support there."
The three candidates filed for the position in April, with issues like county finances, meeting times and growing the local economy taking the forefront.