Texas Countians braved sweltering temperatures Tuesday to elect an associate circuit judge and select party nominees for the November General Election.
The centerpiece race was a four-year term for the Texas County judgeship. Doug Gaston, who earlier was appointed to the position, won over Brad Eidson in the Republican primary, 2,383-1,522. Gaston, who won 61 percent of the vote, took every precinct but one to win a four-year term. There is no Democrat challenger.
A heavier than expected turnout arrived at polling precincts. About 32 percent of the county’s registered voters – 5,051 – cast ballots. About one-third of those votes were tallied at the Houston polling location.
The Republican nomination for county presiding commissioner was the cliffhanger of the night. Fred Stenger won over Andy Sodano, 1,872-1,779. Stenger will face Democrat Mike Impey in the fall.
The only other contested county office race was for the Democratic nomination for recorder of deeds. Incumbent Phyllis Staley easily won over challenger Pam McKinney, 681-317. Staley faces Republican Susan Warkentin in November.
Beginning Jan. 1, the recorder of deeds office will be separated from the circuit clerk’s job. Staley currently oversees both offices. Seeking to replace her in the fall are Democrat Rita Williams and Republican Marci Mosley.
Texas County voters supported incumbent Jo Ann Emerson of Cape Girardeau over Republican Bob Parker of Raymondville, 2,144-1,736. Parker picked up about 34 percent of the vote in the district against Emerson’s well-financed campaign. Emerson faces her most serious challenge in the fall since her election to Congress when she faces Tommy Sowers of Rolla.
County residents approved Proposition C, 3,834-1,042. Missouri voters overwhelmingly rejected a federal mandate to purchase health insurance, rebuking President Barack Obama’s administration and giving Republicans their first political victory in a national campaign to overturn the controversial healthcare law passed by Congress in March.
County voters followed a statewide trend supporting Republican Tom Schweich over Allen Icet, 1,810-1,741. Schweich will face incumbent Susan Montee, a Democrat, in November.
At Cabool, school district voters OK’d extending the current levy through tax year 2014. The tally was 716-213. About 28 percent of the registered voters at Cabool arrived at polls. The highest turnout was at Houston, where nearly 40 percent voted. The lowest? At Summersville, where only 20 percent marked a ballot.