Southwest Missourians have narrowed the field of candidates following Tuesday’s election. Among the local contested races were Greene County Presiding Commissioner and U.S. Representative for District 7.
Bob Cirtin says Greene County finances will continue to be his focus as he shifts his sights on the general election in November.
With 96 percent of precincts reporting late Tuesday, primary tallies had Cirtin leading Steve Helms and Jerry Fenstermaker, his two Republican challengers for presiding commissioner, with more than 44 percent of the vote.
“I think doing things to resolve the budget issues is job 1. To do that is gonna require economic development, and that’s my forte, that’s where I’m going to work very hard,” Cirtin said.
Cirtin was surrounded by supporters in southwest Springfield at the Greene County Republican watch party. He’ll face Democrat Donna Bergen and Libertarian Benjamin Brixey, who each ran unopposed Tuesday.
Cirtin says while he supports limited taxation on Greene County citizens, he believes the various bills passed by the state legislature and vetoed by Gov. Jay Nixon should be upheld so they don’t negatively impact the county and City of Springfield.
“We’re gonna have to trust our legislators in the southwest Missouri, Greene County area to stand up and do the right thing. I think that is not overriding the veto. And I say that as a very conservative Republican because I want tax cuts. But you also have to have common sense.”
Also in Greene County Tuesday, Tom Barr won the Republican nomination in the three-way race for circuit clerk, earning 53 percent of the vote over former Circuit Clerk Michael Carr and Tony Bleau. Barr will face Libertarian Arthur Hodge in November.
Barring a write-in campaign this fall, current deputy collector Leah Betts will retain her seat, after appearing to beat Brooke Hobbs and Cindy Baldwin in the Republican primary. Betts took just under 40 percent of the vote.
See the full breakdown of results from Greene County here.
At the Congressional level, Republican Billy Long easily defeated challenger Marshall Works to move on to the November General Election. The Incumbent Representative will face Libertarian Kevin Craig and Democrat Jim Evans, who won his party’s nomination with 53 percent of the vote over Genevieve Williams.
Speaking to KSMU from his campaign’s watch party at the Double Tree in Springfield, Evans said he plans to setup open forums in each of the district’s counties to better communicate with citizens in the months ahead.
A self-described Eisenhower Democrat, Evans says two of his main goals are to revise disproportionate taxes on the middle class and what he calls imbalance in our nation’s trade policy.
“Probably one of the major areas that I differ from Billy Long is how do we handle trade with other countries so that we don’t have this debt that we’re creating that allows other countries, companies to come in and start buying off our country a piece at a time, a company at a time,” Evans said.
He adds that there is no magic bullet for the U.S. in assisting with the situation in Gaza. And Evans says short of any military intervention, he supports putting pressure on Russia to ease tensions between it and Ukraine.
At the state level, Rep. Jeff Messenger narrowly retained his seat in the Missouri House, earning nearly 52 percent of the vote over Loren Hunt. The Republican from the 130th District is unopposed in November.
In the 132nd District, Fred Ellison handily defeated his Republican challenger Shar Lawless. Ellison will face Democrat Charlie Norr in November.