Presiding Commissioner race heats up

Friday, January 26, 2018

2 announce intentions to file, Warren undecided

Another Republican has thrown his hat in the ring for Barry County Presiding Commissioner.

County Clerk Gary Youngblood announced Friday he will file for the office, as his county clerk term expires in December.

Youngblood is the second to announce his intention to run, as local businessman John Hendricks has also said he plans to file.

Cherry Warren, upon hearing the news of Youngblood's intentions Friday, said he is still undecided at this point.

"I believe serving as Barry County Clerk for almost 24 years has given me valuable experience in the workings of county government," said Youngblood, who has been the clerk since January 1995. "The County Clerk serves as the budget officer for the county, working closely with the County Commission on budget, as well as paying county bills and payroll, maintaining minutes and records for the Commission.

"I have enjoyed working for the citizens of Barry County and have done my best to aid our many political subdivisions in preparing their tax levies to conserve funds while offering the best services possible. If permitted to serve as Presiding Commissioner I will continue to work for the betterment of our county government."

Hendricks said he has talked to some people about his candidacy and has received a good response.

“My main interest in running for commissioner is my years of business experience,” he said. “I am not a politician, but I feel like I can help the communities in a lot of ways. I’ve been a local businessman in the county for almost 40 years.”

Hendricks, the former owner of the Luck “E” Strike fishing lure company and a prolific contractor, sold the Jerseys restaurant last year and presently works as a consultant for the Marck Enterprises recycling firm in Cassville.

Warren, a six-term incumbent in the presiding commissioner position, said he is still undecided on his future.

“I do not have to make a decision until the filing date, and that is my option,” he said.

Warren hung on to a 141-vote margin to edge out a win in a three-way race in the August 2014 Republican primary.

In other county positions up for vote in the Aug. 7 primaries, Collector Janice Varner said she does not plan to return to her post. Looking forward, she said her political career will largely depend on what others decide to do.

Lois Lowe, Barry County treasurer, said she intends to file again her post, which she has held since 1995.

Craig Williams, a four-term incumbent in the circuit clerk position, said he plans to file for his fifth term.

Boxx said she intends to refile for prosecutor. She replaced now-Associate Circuit Judge Johnnie Cox in 2014, garnering 62 percent of the vote in a three-way primary.

Filings open on Feb. 27 and close on March 27. The primaries will be held on Aug. 7.

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