Power Polls - Election to decide county commish head, several major issues statewide

By Steve Chapman

A row of signs decorate the lawn of Keen Bean Coffee Roasters on Mt. Vernon Boulevard prior to the Nov. 6 election. (Photo by Ryan Squibb).

Mike Moon

Loretta Thomas

Bob Senninger

Mike Palmer

On Tuesday, Nov. 6, Lawrence County voters will head to the polls to choose who will represent them at the federal, state and local levels.
On the federal level, United States Senator Claire McCaskill, Democrat, is defending her seat against Republican challenger Josh Hawley, the current Missouri state attorney general. Also running are Japheth Campbell, Libertarian, Jo Crain, Green Party, and Craig O’Dear, Independent.
Also defending his seat is United States Representative Billy Long, Republican. His challengers are Jamie Schoolcraft, Democrat, and Benjamin T. Brixey, Libertarian.
At the state level, State Auditor Nicole Galloway, Democrat, is facing Republican challenger Saundra McDowell. Also running for the state auditor’s job is Sean O’Toole, Libertarian, Don Fitz, Green Party, and Jacob Luetkemeyer, Constitution Party.
Some office holders are running unopposed. They include: Scott Fitzpatrick, Republican, for State Representative, District 158; Jack Goodman, Republican, circuit judge for the 39th Circuit; Scott Sifferman, Republican, for associate circuit judge, Division I; Robert E. George, Republican, for associate circuit judge, Division II; Tammy (Cole) Riebe, Republican, for county clerk; Pam Mieswinkel Fobair, Republican, for circuit clerk; Gary Emerson, Republican, for recorder of deeds; Kathy Seneker Fairchild, Republican, for county treasurer; Don Trotter, Republican, for prosecuting attorney and Kelli McVey, Republican, for collector of revenue.
Voters will also decide whether to retain Judges Brent Powell and Mary Rhodes Russell on the Missouri Supreme Court, and also whether to retain Judge Jeffery Bates on the Missouri Court of Appeals, Southern District.
Locally, Freistatt voters will elect five people to the Freistatt Fire Protection District Board of Directors. Five people are on the ballot: Roy Obermann, Ron Hayward, Bruce Doss, Matt Losack and Matthew Johnson.
Among the contested races, Missouri State Representative Mike Moon, Republican, is running for re-election. His challenger is Loretta Thomas, Democrat. Also squaring off are Republican Bob Senninger and Independent Mike Palmer for Lawrence County Presiding Commissioner. To help voters make a more informed decision, the Lawrence County Record reached out to these four candidates with questions to help create candidate profiles for them. The profiles follow:  Missouri State Representative, District 157:
Name: Mike Moon
Office currently held: State Representative
Political party: Republican
Family: Married to Denise for 38 years, five children, five grandchildren
Education: B.S. Secondary Education
Why do you want to hold the office of state representative?
I want to continue working to reduce/eliminate unnecessary regulations (like the burdensome EPA/DNR restrictions placed upon small cities and the ELD Mandate). In addition, I want to see changes to House rules which inadvertently silence the majority of the state (in the legislative process).
Why do you feel the voters should re-elect you?
I have kept the promises I made when I initially ran for office: lower taxes, smaller government, and the elimination of unnecessary regulations.
What else would you like for the voters to know about you?
The Missouri House is gearing up for the 100th General Assembly. Bills are being drafted and readied for pre-filing on Dec. 1. I’m considering a bill this year aimed at Missouri’s Dairy Industry. The bill would ban all shredded cheese produced or sold in the state. I plan to title the bill, “Make Missouri Grate Again.”
Name: Loretta Thomas
Office currently held: Commissioner, Red Oak Benefit Special Road District
Family: Was married to the late Lynn Thomas for 52 years; two children and three grandchildren.
Education: Miller High School
Why do you want to hold the office of state representative?
Mostly because I feel that the citizens need a choice to vote for, which doesn’t always happen. But, it’s mostly because of my love for people.
Sometimes, people feel like no one listens to them. I want to listen to people and not just choose (a position) out of the air. I want to help change what others feel needs to be taken care of.
(Also wants to improve health, transportation, agriculture and education in the state)
Why do you feel that the voters should elect you?
Because of my belief and love for the Lord, because he is there for everybody and everything. And then, to follow through with each of the other things I have already mentioned that I want to see taken care of. I just feel that I can listen to people and try to do (things) that would be beneficial. I know my opponent does things, like redoing the Constitution, which I’m not saying that’s wrong; I’m saying we have so many things in present times that need to be taken care of. And, if those items fall into the same thing, that’s important to me also.
Offices previously held: Member of Miller School Board for 18 years, first woman elected president of the school board, Region 9 representative for Missouri School Board Association, contract fee agent for Missouri Department of Revenue for 12 years.
What else would you like for the voters to know about you?
That I am an older lady, but I still have a lot of strength and courage. Even my own son told me I was a tough mama. I know that I can take on this job with the desire to attempt to change things that need to be done.
Lawrence County Presiding Commissioner:
Name: Bob Senninger
Party: Republican
Family: I have been married to my wife, Susan, for 37 years. She is a native of Lawrence County, and is the Business Teacher in the Verona School District. She is in her 35th year of teaching there this fall. We have one daughter, Monica, who is a graduate, of Mt. Vernon High School attended the University of Missouri, Columbia, and is currently in her fourth year of teaching social studies and coaching girl’s basketball at Carthage High School. She is married to Nick Curl, who is a loan officer at Mid-Missouri Bank in Mt. Vernon.
Education: B.A. Concordia University - Chicago; MSEd, Missouri State University; EdS. Missouri State University
Why do you want to hold this office?
I have a strong desire to serve the people of Lawrence County through this position of presiding commissioner. I want every citizen to know that they are an important member of our community. Sometimes people need to be heard, and I know how to listen well. I am a good problem solver and can work toward compromise when appropriate. I will do my very best to help make Lawrence County a great place to live and work.
Why do you feel you are the best candidate for the job?
I have 23 years of administrative experience in the Mt. Vernon and Miller school districts working with a variety of students, parents, staff and programs. I am an effective leader and manager. I have worked with large budgets and with budgets that needed to be adjusted from time to time due to funding cuts.
What else would you like for the voters to know about you?
I would greatly appreciate your support and your vote for me on Nov. 6.
Name: Mike Palmer
Political party: Independent
Family: Married to Janet (Minor) Palmer for almost 37 years, 4 children and 6 grandchildren
Education: Pierce City High School, Pittsburg State University with Construction Management Degree.
Why do you want to hold this office?
I have a long history of being involved in the communities where we have lived in a variety of leadership roles. I believe it is important for qualified people to step forward and be involved with all levels of public service. I believe my qualifications make the presiding commissioner position an excellent fit for me and the county. I have the time and dedication required to do this job.
Why do you feel you are the best candidate for the job?
I believe the voters have two good choices for presiding commissioner in this election. My opponent is a good man and will do a good job if elected. I believe my experience working at Empire Electric for 28 years, 13 years as vice president, gives me some tremendous experience useful in all aspects of the presiding commissioner position. My responsibilities included budgeting, engineering, customer service, energy delivery, governmental affairs and telecommunications.
What else would you like for the voters to know about you?
My family has lived in Lawrence County since 1836 and I live one mile south of where their wagon train landed. I have deep roots in our county and will work hard for the citizens of Lawrence County. I am a Conservative and Independent. I would appreciate your vote on Nov. 6.


Lawrence County Record

312 S. Hickory St.
Mt. Vernon, MO, 65712


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