Area voters will have a few races — but not many — to decide in the August primary election to choose candidates to run for county, state and federal offices in November.
Filing for those offices closed Tuesday in Missouri. While Republicans, and incumbents, will dominate the field, voters also will have some challengers to consider — even among Democratic candidates.
In Newton County, two Democrats are running for presiding commissioner, where Marilyn Ruestman, a Republican, is running for re-election. And two Democratic candidates have filed for Congress from Missouri’s 7th District, seeking to challenge Billy Long, of Springfield, the Republican incumbent.
There will be no primary challenge for local lawmakers who represent the region in the Missouri General Assembly. A couple did attract Democratic opponents for races that will be decided in November.
Republican state legislative incumbents running unopposed in the primary are Ron Richard, of Joplin, 32nd Senate District; Bill White, of Joplin, 161st House District; Charlie Davis, of Webb City, 162nd House District; Tom Flanigan, of Carthage, 163rd House District; Bill Reiboldt, of Neosho, 160th House District; Bill Lant, of Pineville, 159th House District; and Mike Kelley, of Lamar, 127th House District. Filing as Democratic candidates were Charles “Hugh” Shields, of Joplin, for the 161st District House seat, and Michael Jarrett, of Carl Junction, for the 163rd District post.
Republican candidates for the U.S. House from Missouri’s 7th District are incumbent Rep. Long and challenger Marshall Works, another Springfield resident. Jim Evans, of Republic, and Genevieve Williams, of Neosho, have filed on the Democratic ballot.
Jasper County voters will decide Republican races for two judgeships and a recorder of deeds post in which the incumbents are not running for re-election.
John Nicholas and Michael L. Roberts filed for the associate circuit judgeship in Division 4, a post now occupied by Joe Schoeberl. Nate Dally and Joe Hensley are running for the Division 5 position now held by Richard Copeland. Three candidates — Doris Tatum, Charlotte Feather Pickering and Ron Hill — are candidates for the recorder of deeds post held by Donna Grove.
There also will be GOP races for presiding county commissioner, in which James Lessy is challenging incumbent John Bartosh; for county collector, in which David Crocker is challenging incumbent Steve Holt; and for county auditor, in which Garrell Dry is challenging incumbent Richard Webster.
Candidates running unopposed are Steve Carlton, for associate circuit judge in Division 6; Melissa Holcomb, for circuit clerk; Dean Dankelson, for prosecuting attorney; and Marilyn Baugh, for county clerk. Scott Graham, who initially filed for the latter office, has withdrawn.