Texas County officeholders swept to re-election Tuesday in a heavy voter turnout marked by the election of a new president and governor. About 72 percent of the county’s registered voters lined up at 10 precincts.
In all, about 11,000 residents arrived at polls.
In additional to the re-election of Sheriff Carl Watson, Associate Commissioner Linda Garrett and Assessor Debbie James, voters in District 1 also added a new face to the county commission. John Casey of Simmons, a Republican, won over Democrat David Adkison of Houston, 3,122-2,402. Incumbent Joe Whetstine, a Cabool Republican, did not seek re-election.
The incumbent in two other contested races in the county each received about 57 percent of the vote. Watson, a Democrat, won over Matt Thompson, a Republican, 6,151-4,552. The GOP’s James defeated Terry Kell, a Democrat, 6,119-4,511.
Garrett, a Republican, won over Democratic challenger Linda Miller, 3,159-1,952.
Other county officeholders were re-elected without opposition: Collector-Treasurer Tammy Cantrell, who picked up more votes than any candidate on the ballot; Public Administrator Theresa Campbell, Coroner Thomas Whittaker and Surveyor Louis E. Carmack Jr.
In statewide races, Texas County supported the victor for Missouri governor, Jay Nixon. The attorney general won over Congressman Kenny Hulshof, 5,847-4,687. Secretary of State Robin Carnahan also picked up a win. Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder won over his challenger, Democrat Sam Page.
Texas County residents supported the balance of the Republican Ticket for statewide offices. In balloting across the state, Democrats swept every office except Kinder’s post. Clint Zweifel won over Brad Lager for state treasurer. Chris Koster defeated Mike Gibbons to replace Nixon as attorney general.
Texas Countians overwhelming supported John McCain’s failed bid to the White House. McCain won over Barack Obama, 7,213-3,410. Obama carried just 31 percent, which was a decrease of three percentage points
from John Kerry’s county run four years ago. Statewide, McCain also appeared to win by fewer than 6,000 votes.
U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson, R-Cape Girardeau, coasted to victory over Democrat Joe Allen. Mo. Sen. Chuck Purgason, R-Caulfield, easily won re-election over challenger Eric Reeve.
Texas County voters supported easing loss limits at Missouri casinos, 5,449-4,995. Efforts to make English the official language won easily in the county, 9,053-1,026. County residents turned thumbs down on a stormwater finance measure, 5,437-4,409. Voters also gave approval to measures encouraging renewable energy, 5,628 – 4,439; and homecare, 7,336-3,075.
In balloting statewide, voters checked the yes box more often, approving all the issues.