Youngblood landslides way to commissioner
Outgoing Barry County Clerk Gary Youngblood said he did not have much time to campaign, but that did not stop him from earning a landslide victory in the election for Barry County presiding commissioner.
Youngblood took in 2,753 (51 percent) of the 5,382 total votes, winning all 16 precincts and in the absentee ballots, according to unofficial returns.
“I was surprised,” Youngblood said. “I figured it would be close. I did not have the time to campaign as much as my opponents did because I had this election to prepare for and was working five days per week.
“I appreciate the Barry County voters, and it humbles me to have that margin of victory.”
Incumbent Cherry Warren came in second with 1,586 votes (30 percent), and John Hendricks rounded out the results with 1,043 votes (19 percent).
Warren said he enjoyed his work as presiding commissioner, and thanked the voters for years of support.
“The vote pretty well explains everything,” he said. “I loved what I did being presiding commissioner, and I think I left the county in excellent financial shape. I think in my tenure, people can see the infrastructure work we did and my philosophy with government and commissioners I worked with, and I think they’d say I have a pretty decent record.
“People in Barry County have been awful good to me, and I thank the people who have supported me. I can’t say enough about the people of Barry County and how kindly they have treated me.”
Warren said going forward, he plans to focus on farm operation.
“I have a pretty sizable farm operation, and I have plenty to do,” he said.
Hendricks congratulated Youngblood on the victory.
“Winning 51 percent in a three-man race, you have to tip your hat to the guy,” he said. “Congratulations to Gary, and I believe the people wholeheartedly voted on his experience in the clerk’s office the past 24 years, and I wish him all the luck in the world. If there’s anything I can do to help, I’ll be right there.”
Hendricks said as far as his future, this election is his only run at the presiding commissioner’s office. When asked what’s next for him, Hendricks gave a one-word response.
“Grandkids,” he said. “I thought this was my chance, and I will not run again.”
Youngblood said he thinks the key to his win is his support throughout his six consecutive terms as county clerk.
“People always turned out for me in elections,” he said. “I am thankful for that.”
Youngblood said he does not have any specific agenda for when he takes office.
“I need to get sworn in first, and it’s too far down the road to say what I would do,” he said. “I have no big agenda.”
According to unofficial canvass results, Youngblood’s largest margin at the ballot box was in the city of Monett, where he drew 59 percent of the vote, 269 total votes. He took the Cassville rural/Mineral and Cassville city precincts as his biggest draws, getting 330 votes (44 percent) and 273 votes (50 percent), respectively.
Youngblood also ruled the absentee voting with 203 (61 percent) of the 321 absentee ballots.
According to unofficial results, turnout in the county was almost 31 percent, with 6,280 cards cast out of 10,268 registered voters.