Few races were tight in county

A line forms around 8:30 on election morning at the Courthouse Annex building in Mexico. Almost 70 percent of registered voters in Audrain County turned out on Tuesday. (Dave Faries)
Dave Faries

The big winner in Tuesday night’s general election was Todd Yager. The Republican running unopposed for the Audrain County Coroner position received 9,501 votes against just 65 write ins, for a whopping 99.3 percent unofficial margin of victory.

No candidates in local races faced opposition, so the numbers were staggering. Matt Oller won by 98.8 percent over write-ins in his bid to retain the role of Sheriff. District 43 State Representative Ken Haden easily outdistanced the 117 names penned in by voters. And the landslide was bipartisan, with Democrat Melissa Maupin clobbering write-ins 8,202 to 243 for Assessor.

County Clerk Lisa Smith certified the tally on Friday after The Ledger’s deadline. But the unofficial results showed a strong voter turnout. Lines formed early at many of the county’s polling stations, building again in the evening. Some employers gave their staff time off to vote.

Still, the unofficial voter turnout did not reach 70 percent. A total of 10,716 ballots were cast, accounting for 69.5 percent of registered voters in Audrain County – more than the 64.9 percent who participated in the 2016 general election and much more than two years ago, when just 58.1 percent visited the polls.

Voters returned Haden to Jefferson City as the district representative. Alan Winders took the Eastern Commissioner seat and Tracy Graham as the Western Commissioner – both unopposed and both by more than 98 percent margins. Connie Hagen received the Public Administrator post.

In the contested campaigns, Republicans won big. Vicky Hartzler picked up 72.8 percent of the votes for District 4 US Representative, compared to 24.1 percent for Democrat Lindsey Simmons. In District 6, voters sent Sam Graves to Washington by a similar margin over Gena Ross.

The presidential ticket of Donald Trump and Mike Pence received 7.727 votes to 2,703 for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Local voters contributed to Mike Parson’s bid for reelection to Governor, casting 7,638 ballots in his favor. Nicole Galloway gathered 2,663.

Local voters liked Mike Kehoe (76 percent) for Lieutenant Governor over Alissa Canady (21 percent), Jay Ashcroft (76 percent) over Yinka Faleti (20 percent) for Secretary of State and Eric Schmitt (75 percent over Rich Finneran (22 percent) for Attorney General.

None of the races for elected offices were close, at least in Audrain County. Republican Scott Fitzpatrick received 75 percent of local votes for State Treasurer. Three judges were retained by margins closer to 80 percent.

The only close calls came when local voters considered the two constitutional amendments, both proposed by the general assembly. Amendment 1 would extend term limits to the Lt. Governor, Secretary of State, Auditor and Attorney General. Locals opposed the measure by just 89 votes, or a 50.44 to 49.56 margin. Amendment 3 was given greater publicity in the run up to election day. It suggested amending a previously approved measure involving gifts from lobbyists, campaign contributions and redistricting. In this matter, Audrain County went 59.7 percent in favor.


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