The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

October 28, 2012

Filling of Newton County posts appears more formality than contest

By Susan Redden
Globe Staff Writer

NEOSHO, Mo. — After sorting through a large field of candidates in the Republican primary in August, Newton County residents will have but two final selections to make when they go to the polls Nov. 6.

Two County Commission posts are up for election, with Republican nominees on the ballot with Libertarian candidates who had no primary competition and have not mounted active campaigns for the general election.

For 1st District associate county commissioner, Republican Alan Cook will face Roxie Fausnaught, and for the 2nd District, Republican Jim Jackson will face Heather Bowers.

The primary saw a larger-than-normal number of associate commission candidates seeking posts that had opened up with the retirement of Jerry Black and Jack Sanders. Cook was the winner in a three-way race for the GOP nomination for associate commissioner from the 1st District, and Jackson won over three other candidates for the 2nd District nomination.

• Cook, 50, is retired after 23 years with Leggett & Platt Inc. in the technology department and as a division vice president. He is a lifelong county resident and a graduate of Crowder College and Oklahoma Christian University, where he received a bachelor’s degree in math. This is his first run for public office.

He has said he has no agenda but said his priorities, if elected, will be to make informed decisions and to be a careful steward of taxpayer money.

• Fausnaught, 56, Granby, is a housewife and a graduate of East Newton High School. She has lived in the county since 1970 and has never held elected office.

• Jackson, 58, Neosho, is retired after 32 years with KSNF-TV in Joplin, where he was a reporter and news anchor. He also was an instructor at Crowder College for 11 years. He said improving the county’s roads and other infrastructure, supporting strong law enforcement and being a good steward of tax dollars will be priorities if he is elected.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in mass communications from Missouri Southern State University. He is a longtime area resident. This is his first run for public office.

• Bowers, 38, Neosho, works at the AT&T Call Center in Joplin. She is a lifelong Neosho resident and holds a bachelor’s degree in speech communication from Missouri Southern State University. She served previously on the Neosho City Council.