Monett picks winners in every primary election race
Margins significant in close races for Warren, George
Monett voters played a key role in deciding local races in the Aug. 5 primary election.
In the Barry County race for presiding commissioner, won by five-term incumbent Cherry Warren by 141 votes, Monett represented the third largest block of votes cast. Shell Knob had the largest block with 552 votes, throwing 73 percent or 406 votes behind Shell Knob resident Eddie Davison. With the Cassville city and rural vote effectively split between Warren with 521 and Davison with 499, the 513 Monett votes became the next biggest prize. Warren won 240 to Davison's 173, leaving Warren trailing 869 to 1,078 for Davison. Warren gained ground in 10 of the remaining 14 precincts, winning the Purdy/McDowell precinct 216 to 128 for Davison, Kings Prairie and Pleasant Ridge going 126-91 for Warren and 68-24 in Capps Creek, inching his way to the win.
Challenger Terry Burgess also won a significant number of votes, earning 100 in Monett, 40 in Purdy, 37 in Kings Prairie and 20 in Capps Creek.
Monett's vote was less pivotal in the three-person race for prosecuting attorney. Monettan Amy Boxx carried every precinct, earning 392 or 75 percent of the Monett vote, compared to 72 votes for Steve Dunker and 61 for Matthew Weatherman.
The Purdy vote went equally strong for Boxx, earning her 275 votes or 72 percent, compared to 58 votes for Dunker and 49 for Weatherman. Kings Prairie followed suit with 190 votes or 74 percent for Boxx, 38 votes for Dunker and 30 for Weatherman.
In the Lawrence County race for associate circuit judge in Division 2, the 418 votes in the Forest Park precinct in Monett represented the fourth-largest block of votes, behind the 1,367 in Aurora, 1,254 in Mt. Vernon and 694 in the Marionville precinct of Buck Prairie.
Bob George, the 21-year county prosecutor from Aurora who won the election with 37 percent of the vote, captured only Mt. Vernon among the big prizes, but gained ground in Monett. George had 41 percent of the Mt. Vernon vote with 508, beating challenger, Mt. Vernon attorney Bryan Berry, who had 435 votes. Aurora attorney Stacy Tomlin and rural Aurora attorney Shara Martin trailed respectively with 162 and 149 votes.
In Forest Park, George had 181 votes or 43 percent, while Tomlin came in second with 105. Berry had 95 votes and Martin picked up 37.
The Aurora vote provided the most momentum for Tomlin, whose 514 represented 38 percent compared to 374 or 27 percent for George. Martin received 253 and Berry had 226.
The Marionville area vote was split nearly evenly three ways, with George leading at 210, followed by Tomlin with 202 and Berry with 196.
George won eight of the remaining 11 precincts to carry the day. In Pierce City, George had 143 or 43 percent, compared to 87 votes for Tomlin and 71 for Berry. In Freistatt, George had 61 votes, compared to 48 for the other three candidates. The Verona vote fractured like Aurora, with Tomlin leading with 89, George with 87 Berry with 72 and Martin with 21.
The other major Lawrence County race pitted one-term incumbent State Rep. Mike Moon, R-rural Ash Grove, against challenger Julie Ruzicka, of Mt. Vernon, for the Republican nomination for the 157th District state representative seat. Moon carried the election with 55 percent of the vote, carrying 14 of 19 precincts, including Forest Park in Monett by a 220-203 or 52 percent margin.
Ruzicka made her best stand in Aurora, carrying all three precincts with 726 or 55 percent of the vote. Moon topped that by carrying Mt. Vernon with 727 or 58 percent of the vote, winning all three of those precincts. In the Marionville area, Moon had 410 or 59 percent.
Other precincts close to Monett showed a much tighter margin. Ruzicka won 56-55 in Freistatt, and carried Verona 138-134. In Pierce City, Moon won 91-70.
Moon made his best showing in the most rural precincts, carrying Red Oak in the northwestern corner of the county with 65 percent of the vote, the adjacent Green precinct with 66 percent, the Ozark precinct in the northeastern corner of the county with 69 percent, and the Turnback precinct between Halltown and Marionville with 64 percent.
In the Seventh Congressional District, two-term incumbent Billy Long won 54 percent of the vote in Lawrence County on his way to winning renomination. In Monett, Long had 545 votes or 57 percent to 404 for challenger Marshall Tucker. Long carried Pierce City 177-148, Freistatt 70-42, Verona 169-93, Purdy 276-99 and Kings Prairie 174-79.
The only Barry County precinct Long lost was Capps Creek, trailing Works 57-58.
Long made his poorest showing in Lawrence County in Mt. Vernon, where Works captured 59 percent of the vote. Works also carried one other precinct, taking Lincoln by 20 votes.