Write-ins determine winners in Washburn

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Barry County voters side with winners in Aurora, Reeds Spring school races

With voter turn-out of 14.4 percent, the April 3 election held a few surprises but generally favored incumbents.

Municipal elections

The most suspense came in the City of Washburn, where two city council positions were open to write-in selection. Connie Deans received 14 votes and Cheryl Floyd received 7, making them the winners in a longer list of single-vote candidates,.

In Purdy, one-term incumbent Brian Bowers and challenger Raymond Stapleton faced off for a second time. Bowers received 17 votes, two less than two years ago, but enough to keep his seat. Stapleton received 9 votes, after claiming 16 in 2016.

In Butterfield, first-time candidate Donald Privett had considerable traction, claiming 20 votes, upending several-term incumbent Frances Hobbs, who had 9 votes.

In the Table Rock Lake village of Chain O Lakes, known for nail-biter elections, write-ins did not prove a factor, though they came in a block. Joel Pavelski and Cheryl Staats were the winners, each receiving 22 votes. Roger Thomas received 12 votes. Carol Nelson received all 11 of the write-in votes, but did not put her into challenging range.

The open seats in Cassville, Exeter, Seligman and Wheaton created no contests, nor did the East Ward alderman’s seat in Butterfield.

School districts

Outside of Cassville and Monett, none of the school districts had races for school board members.

In Cassville, newcomers Steven Henbest, with 662, and Wade Hermansen, with 460, cleared the field by 98 votes from the nearest challengers of incumbent Carolyn Bowen with 366, Lisa Roark with 365, Mark Kelley with 253, Devin Barber with 136 and Michael Hagins with 125.

In Monett, two-term incumbent A.J. Bahl led the field with 431 votes, with Ken Gaspar with 400 votes, well ahead of Andy Brandt with 247 votes and Susan Geiss with 241.

Barry County voters followed the leading trends in districts overlapping with other counties.

In the Aurora school district, Barry County voters stacked support for the winners, giving former incumbent Mark McCully and one-term incumbent Jeramine Grosenbacher each 34 votes, stacking their winning tallies to 372 for McCully and 339 for Grosenbacher. David “Larry” Marks finished out of the running with 215 (23 Barry, 182 Lawrence).

In the Reeds Spring school district, the seven Barry County votes did not change the outcome but favored the winners. Jennifer Maloney and Joelene Powell each had 2 votes, raising them to 1,032 for Maloney and 931 for Powell, far ahead of the pack. Receiving single Barry County votes were Kim Steed with a total of 729, Richard Porter with 720 and Trent Massey with 228. Receiving no Barry County votes were Larry Leimkuehler with 147 and Michael Turner with 143.

The no-tax-increase $1.25 million bond issue in the Crane School district passed by the winning margin in Barry County 24-17 or nearly 59 percent. Added to the Stone County vote, the measure passed 197-107 with 65 percet in favor.

Road districts

Two Barry County road districts filled seats by write-in.

In the Ash Special Road District, Jamie Cornell was the apparent winner for a commissioner’s job with 4 votes.

In the McDonald Road District, Eddie Dummit received 5 votes and was the apparent winner.

The race in the Capps Creek Special Road District favored the challenger. Kyle Forgey received 75 votes to upend incumbent Robert Presley, who had 31.

The Crane Creek Road District was more predictable. Incumbent Gary Moreland received 33 votes to hold off challenger Luke McCullough’s 12 votes.

The Washburn Special Road District voters gave a nod of satisfaction to their leadership in handily renewing an additional $.1295 cent levy on $100 of assessed property. The measure passed 42-9, with 82 percent support.

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