Challengers not surprised by Warren refiling
Resolved health issues lead to commissioner’s decision
Presiding Commissioner Cherry Warren had been undecided if he would run for his post again this year, saying he would make his decision on filing day — and he did.
County Clerk Gary Youngblood announced his intention to file for presiding commissioner in January, and local businessman John Hendricks had also made his intentions clear about the position.
Warren said one of the main things causing him to mull over throwing his hat in the ring or not was his health.
“Some things I don’t like to discuss, and I had some health issues,” Warren said. “That was one of my concerns, but everything has turned out great. I said I would make a decision by the 27th of February, and I filed and will keep working hard for the people of Barry County.”
Warren said he and Youngblood work together every day and continue to work together, even as opponents in the upcoming race.
“I’m thankful to live in a country where you can file for a position and vote,” he said. “Not every country has that, and I’m tankful we do. I think my record of service speaks for itself. I have been here long enough people know what to expect and know where I’ll be.”
Youngblood said he was not surprised by Warren’s decision.
“I wasn’t surprised because you never know which way people will go,” he said.
However, Youngblood said even if he knew Warren would file, he would have still filed as well.
“I started making plans four years ago, because at that time, nothing was very certain,” he said. “It was not a surprise to Cherry that I filed, and I’m not trying to run him out of office.
“I’m making plans for my future, and you can’t wait on other people’s decisions to make plans for yourself.”
Youngblood said should things not go his way in August, he will hopefully be able to retire, but he is not ready to.
“I’m 66, and I’m a planner, and I am planning for my future,” he said. “I still officiate high school volleyball, in my 39th year, and I will do one more year of that because I want to reach 40, and I officiated basketball for 18 years.”
Youngblood said his experience can also help the person who takes over his position.
“I feel with 24 years of experience at the County Clerk position and clerk for commission, I would be an asset to the new clerk, whoever it will be. I have gained knowledge over the years to help pass on to them.”
Hendricks also said he was not surprised by Warren’s decision.
“It’s his right to file or not file, and I had no idea what he would do,” he said. “I talked to him, and he said he would make his decision by filing day. I was absolutely going to file either way.”
While he was not surprised at Warren’s decision, Hendricks said he was surprised at how the ballot is turning out.
“I am surprised two 20-year, county politicians would file against each other,” he said.
Warren and Youngblood have each served six consecutive terms in their respective positions. Hendricks has run multiple businesses in the Cassville area and said he is running for the people, not the party.
The filing period continues until March 27, and the primaries will be held on Aug. 7.