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Incumbent commissioner loses by wide margin, St. Robert alderman behind by one vote, most other incumbents retain seat
Incumbent commissioner loses by wide margin, St. Robert alderman behind by one vote, most other incumbents retain seat

Poll worker Don Murray brings ballots into the courthouse on election night.

PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. (Aug. 2, 2022) -- County voters have selected a new Western District Commissioner, with Andy Helms soundly defeating incumbent Clinton Jarrett by more than a two-to-one margin, and decided that Mack Wilkerson rather than Lorna West will succeed retiring County Treasurer Susan Boksan Rapone. No Democrats filed for either seat, which means the Republican nominee selected tonight won't face an opponent in November and will take office on January 1, usually being sworn in during the last week of December.

By only a single vote, challenger Glen Askeland appears to have defeated incumbent St. Robert Ward I Alderman Theresa Cook. However, that 65-64 margin is close enough that Cook can request a recount. In the last race in April, Cook and Askeland tied with equal votes, which led to today's special election.

Also, Crocker voters decided by almost a three-to-one margin to approve a $4 million bond issue for sewer and water improvements. The Crocker City Hall had been required by environmental authorities to make the sewage plant upgrade and tonight's successful bond issue means the city can do the required work at at a lower interest rate.

In other races, Presiding Commissioner Gene Newkirk defeated challenger Joseph Krill by greater than a two-to-one margin, which means he will return as presiding commissioner for a fourth term since no Democrats filed for the seat.

The only locally contested race on the Democratic primary ballot was the Cullen Township Central Committeeman seat currently held by Mark C. Prugh, who retained his seat by a 59 percent to 37 percent margin for challenger Wayne Gifford, with a small number of write-in votes.

In a separate race, Gifford was unopposed for the Democratic nomination to head the Pulaski County Prosecutors Office. Incumbent Prosecuting Attorney Kevin Hillman was unopposed for the Republican nomination; the Hillman-Gifford race will be the only locally-contested race on the November ballot.

While incumbent State Senator Justin Brown of Rolla won Pulaski County by a 55-45 percent margin over challenger Suzie Pollock, currently a state representative from Lebanon, that doesn't include numerous other counties in the 16th State Senate District. Full totals for the district aren't yet available. While neither candidate is from Pulaski County, Brown and his father, former State Sen. Dan Brown, had previously represented Pulaski County prior to the 2022 redistricting following the 2020 census, while Pollock was running for her first time in a Pulaski County race.

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