Voters go to the polls on Tuesday, Nov. 6 to make their selections for the mid-term general election, and several important issues and state races are on the ballot.
Locally, nine candidates are running for re-election to office with each candidate running unopposed as they seek another term in public service. The local candidates are all incumbents, and they are Circuit Judge Craig Carter, Associate Circuit Judge Elizabeth Bock, Presiding Commissioner Lance Stillings, County Clerk Karry Davis, Clerk of the Circuit Court Kim Hathcock, Recorder of Deeds Jacinda Sheppard, County Treasurer Theresa Miller, Prosecuting Attorney Christopher Wade, and Collector of Revenue Laura Stillings.
Carla Eslinger, who filed as a candidate seeking the office presently held by Lyle Rowland, District 155 Representative, is also running unopposed.
In the race for United States Senator, Attorney General Josh Hawley is hoping to unseat Senator Claire McCaskill from her long-standing senate position that she initially acquired in 2006. Over the course of the campaign, the political rhetoric between Hawley and McCaskill has been colored with accusations by both parties, but in the last few weeks, the political ads have been rather contentious, back and forth.
Hawley and McCaskill are running for the senate seat along with Libertarian candidate Japheth Campbell, Green Party candidate Jo Crain, and Craig O’Dear, who is running as an Independent.
The race for state auditor has predominantly focused on two candidates with incumbent Nicole Galloway and challenger Saundra McDowell publicly vying for the position. The contest for office also includes Sean O’Toole, Libertarian candidate, Don Fitz, Green Party; and Jacob Luetkemeyer, Constitution Party candidate.
On the ballot, United States Representative Jason Smith is challenged by Democrat Kathy Ellis, of Festus, Missouri, and Libertarian Jonathan Shell, of Madison County.
Locally, Douglas County Commissioners are asking county residents to approve a countywide sales tax of one-half of one percent (1/2 of 1%), acknowledging that the accumulated funds will be used for maintenance and improvement of country roads and bridges. Added funds will also allow commissioners financial latitude to buy much needed materials such as gravel, stone, culverts, asphalt, and fuel.
In addition, City of Ava has placed a sales tax proposal on the ballot as well, asking city residents to approve a one-half of one percent (1/2 of 1%) to improve city streets and upgrade infrastructures within the city limits of town. The City tax is limited to a seven-year period and will automatically terminate once the specified period has been completed.
In Gainesville, Ozark County residents will decide whether or not to increase the operating tax levy of the Gainesville R-V School District. If passed, the tax levy will incrementally increase over several years beginning in 2019 with $3.00 per $100; $3.25 per $100, in 2020; and $3.50 per $100, in tax year 2021 through 2043. The money is earmarked for capital improvements for campus buildings including the elementary, middle and high school campuses. Funds will also allow the school to upgrade items, such as HVAC equipment, roofs, furniture, build a multipurpose gymnasium, install safety improvements, and more.
At the state level, the ballot is asking voters to determine the outcome of four proposed Constitutional Amendments, and three propositions, including Prop B on state minimum wage, Prop C which removes state prohibitions on medical marijuana, and Prop D, which increases the motor fuel tax by 2 ½ cents.
The ballot also asks whether or not voters wish to retain three judges whose terms expire Dec. 31, 2018 –– Missouri Supreme Court Judges W. Brent Powell and Mary Rhodes Russell; and Missouri Court of Appeals Judge, Southern District, Jeffrey Bates.
A sample ballot showcasing the listings of all candidates and issues may be found in Section C, page one, of this issue. The page also lists voting locations and precinct addresses.
On Nov. 6, polling locations will open at 6:00 a.m., and close at 7:00 p.m.
If anyone has questions about the ballot or upcoming election, please call County Clerk Karry Davis, (417) 683-4714.