The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

July 25, 2012

Primary races on ballots in Cherokee County

COLUMBUS, Kan. — Several primary races are on the Aug. 7 ballots in Cherokee County.

There are primary races for the Republican nominations for county attorney and 2nd District county commissioner, and for the Democratic nominations for county treasurer and county clerk.

COUNTY ATTORNEY

Nathan Coleman and Robert Myers are vying for the Republican nomination for county attorney, the county prosecutor. The position pays $58,601 annually. The winner will face Democrat Melanie Bingham in November. She is unchallenged in the primary.

Incumbent County Attorney John Bullard, who was appointed, didn’t file for the election.

• Coleman, 35, of Galena, has lived most of his life in Cherokee County, most recently moving back in 2006. He has a private law practice with offices in Galena and Joplin, Mo. He has a law degree from Washburn University, Topeka. This is his first campaign.

“The county needs someone in the county attorney’s office who is going to work with law enforcement to charge individuals that have been arrested for crimes,” Coleman said. “You’re going to see me work hard at aggressively prosecuting crimes. We need to see filings go up. For quite some time, a crime committed hasn’t necessarily meant a crime is charged. That’s going to change if I’m in office.”

Coleman said he would be in the courtroom regularly arguing cases himself.

• Myers, 44, of Riverton, has lived all but 10 years of his life in Cherokee County. He has a private law practice in Columbus, and also is city attorney in Baxter Springs and Columbus. He has a law degree from the University of Oklahoma, Norman. He previously ran unsuccessfully for county attorney and for a position on the Riverton Board of Education.

“I’ve been practicing here many years,” Myers said. “The number of cases that are being prosecuted have steadily declined every year, but crime’s not decreasing. And it’s not because law enforcement is not doing its job.”

He said he has experience prosecuting cases in city court as a city attorney.

“I’m the only candidate who has the experience,” he said. “I’ve done jury trials. I’ve punished criminals.”

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