By Lindsay Reed and Murray Bishoff
Incumbents held the edge in municipal elections on Tuesday, leading to few surprises on election night.
In Monett, the standing city council members easily won re-election.
In the mayoral race, two-term incumbent Jim Orr won with 331 votes (156 Lawrence, 175 Barry) to capture 74 percent of the vote. Challenger Dennis Murphy had 114 votes (57 in both Barry and Lawrence counties). In the February primary, when 138 more people voted, Orr won with 71 percent of the vote.
For city commissioner, Mike Brownsberger, who has been on the council since 2007, was the top vote getter with 333 votes (157 Lawrence, 176 Barry). Jerry Dierker won a fifth term with 320 votes (146 Lawrence, 174 Barry). Finishing out of the running was Stephen Schoen with 165 votes (89 Lawrence, 76 Barry), the same total he received in the February primary.
Purdy: Purdy Ward residents elected first-time candidate Sean Priest to an open seat on the Purdy City Council. Priest received 30 votes, and former alderman Ron Gray received eight votes.
Ward 2 residents cast 17 votes in favor of two-term incumbent Ken Real, who will remain on the council.
Cassville: Cassville alderman Terry Heinz will remain on the city council for another two years. Heinz received more than double the number of votes garnered by challenger Donna Hayes in Tuesday's election.
South Ward residents cast 111 votes in favor of Heinz. Hayes received 52 votes.
Although the North Ward election was not contested, 90 voters turned out in support of alderman Darrell Ledenham, who will also continue to serve on the city council.
Butterfield: There was no opposition in Butterfield. Tony Cope earned another term as mayor with 14 votes. Carrol Hayes was re-elected as alderman from the East Ward with 18 votes. Frances Hobbs won another term as West Ward alderman with 10 votes.
Wheaton: No races developed in Wheaton. Ryan Henderson won his first term as East Ward alderman with 17 votes. Stacy Beck won another term representing the West Ward with 10 votes.
Exeter: Jeff Scott won the South Ward alderman's seat without opposition, receiving 27 votes. Keith Johnson won the North Ward seat with 17 votes, holding off a write-in challenge from Dale Mitchell with six votes.
Washburn: Gerald Hinde, who lost his race in 2010, ran unopposed to win the West Ward alderman's seat in Washburn with 28 votes. Chloe Weathers, who ran in 2011, won a full-term representing the East Ward with 15 votes.
Seligman: New faces will appear on the Seligman City Council. Kelly Payne ran without opposition for the West Ward alderman's seat, receiving 21 votes. Gerald Harling took the East Ward seat with 21 votes, holding off a write-in challenge from Carol Jennings, who had three votes.
Pierce City: There was no opposition for city offices in Pierce City. Mayor Allan Stockton won a second term with 94 votes. John Archer received a fourth term from Ward 1 with 32 votes. Scott Wahl won a third term representing Ward 2 with 27 votes. Dana Stanphill received her first full term representing Ward 3 with 16 votes. Cory Sooter added to the nine years he has represented Ward 4, receiving 14 votes.
Verona: One-term incumbent George Strawn was re-elected to an at-large alderman's seat in Verona with 23 votes. The remaining seat was open to write-ins, though County Clerk Gary Emerson said 19 write-in votes were cast for non-qualified candidates.
Freistatt: The only candidate on the Freistatt ballot was Rose Ortwein, who received 16 votes. The other position was open for write-in votes. Emerson reported 25 votes were cast for non-qualified candidates.
Mt. Vernon: Winners in the two contested city council seats in Mt. Vernon won with comfortable margins. In Ward 1. Craig Nelson won with 58 votes against Dallas Gramm with 24. In Ward 3, incumbent Barbara Rubison won election after her appointment to the council with 53 votes over first-time candidate Chuck Lester, who had 20 votes. Mayor David Eden won his sixth term with 318 votes. Carol Millsap was returned to the Ward 2 alderman's seat with 62 votes. Incumbent Lowell Phillips was elected for the first time in Ward 4 after his ward moved.
Aurora: A close race emerged in Aurora. Steve Ramirez was the top vote getter with 199. Three first-time candidates fought a close battle for the second open council seat. Lisa Rentfro prevailed with 171 votes over Regina Payne with 167 and Doris Colwell with 166.
Marionville: Incumbency proved a big plus for one-term mayor Robert "Bob" Duda in Marionville. He won re-election with 191 votes, topping alderman Phillip Harter with 78 votes and first-time candidate Brenda Allen with 29 votes. In the contested Ward 1 council race, first-time candidate Dale Blankenship received 55 votes to top two-term incumbent Jim Dickenson, who received 36 votes. In Ward 2, Scott Brown received 84 votes in his first bid for office. In Ward 3, Jeff Schatz won a second term with 77 votes, running unopposed.
Miller: The three-way vote for mayor in Miller easily went in favor of two-term incumbent Dennis Harris, who received 99 votes. Out of the running were Bill Whilhite with 68 votes and Earnest Brown with 10.
The two at-large aldermen's seats went to incumbent Mitzi Kilby, who was serving by appointment, and one-term incumbent Richard Turk. Kilby received 142 votes and Turk earned 109 votes. Robert Jones, finished out of the running with 73 votes.
Stotts City: Running without opposition, Stotts City Mayor Joanne Caddick was returned to office with 10 votes. Jeffrey Gibson won one of the two open city council seats with 18 votes. The other was open to write-in votes.