Primary ballot full of choices

Robert Cox

Tuesday’s primary election will have a big impact on Perry County, as a number of races will be decided ahead of the November general election among primarily Republican candidates, which dominate races for all but one local office and most state offices.
Chief among them will be the race for Perry County Sheriff, where incumbent Gary Schaaf is facing challenger Teresa (Cox) Worthington.
Schaaf, 63, is seeking his eighth term. He has served as sheriff for 28 years and previously served as chief of the Perryville Police Department. He told the Republic-Monitor earlier this year that he’s eager for another term and has a lot he still wants to accomplish as sheriff.
“I’ve got so many projects and future projects in the works,” Schaaf said. “I really want to stay here and see these through and get them implemented.”
Worthington, 45, is also a career law enforcement officer. She began her career as a communications officer with the Perry County Sheriff’s Office before completing her academy training and becoming a patrol deputy. She later joined the Perryville Police Department as a patrol officer. Later she served as the department’s DARE/public education officer before eventually becoming the department’s first female detective.
“Having worked for both the Perry County Sheriff’s Department and the Perryville Police Department, I will work to foster an improved working relationship between the two departments and ensure they will work hand-in-hand together for the betterment of our communities,” said Worthington in a news release announcing her candidacy.
Polls for Tuesday’s election will open at 6 a.m. on Aug. 4 and will remain open until 7 p.m.
A portion of Perry County’s representation in the state House of Representatives will also be determined in the primary. In District 145, which includes the southern half of Perry County, incumbent Rick Francis, Republican, is running unopposed in the primary, but will face challenger Mike Lindley, a Democrat, in November. In District 116 — which includes the northern half of Perry County, incumbent Dale Wright will face off with newcomer Bryant Wolfin.
Wright, 69, of Farmington, is a medical supply and consulting executive coming off his freshman year in the statehouse after being elected to the seat held by veteran legislator Kevin Engler in 2018. as a freshman representative, he was named a majority whip and served on four legislative committees— the Special Committee on Aging, Healthcare-Mental Health, Insurance, and Sub-Committee on Healthcare policy. He is also one of the few freshmen to see a bill he authored signed into law by the governor.
Wolfin, 29, of Ste. Genevieve, owns a string of convenience stores and resigned from the Ste. Genevieve Board of Aldermen to challenge Wright.
Also up for grabs on Tuesday will be the office of Perry County public administrator, where incumbent Tammy Tarrillion will square off with challenger Jennifer Freeman.
Tarrillion, 58, has served as public administrator for 15 years, acting as an advocate for many disabled and elderly residents.
Freeman, 51, owns All Creatures Veterinary Clinic with her husband, Dr. Mark Freeman.
In other county races, assessor Charles Triller filed for re-election, as did coroner William “Bill” Bohnert and District 1 associate commissioner Jay Wengert.
The largest field of candidates will be for the District 2 seat on the county commission. Veteran associate commissioner Jim Sutterer announced his impending retirement after three terms.
All told, there are eight candidates vying for the position, seven of which — Chad Sutterer, Tom Unger, Doug Martin, Todd Bergman, Daniel Meisner, Keith Hoehn and Gary Jones — filed as Republicans. One candidate — Ronald “Rocky” Schumer — filed as an independent, stretching the campaign until November’s general election.
At the state level, Kathy Swan and Holly Rehder, both state representatives, are vying for the District 27 seat in the Missouri Senate that is being vacated because of term limits by Sen. Wayne Wallingford of Cape Girardeau. The winner of Tuesday’s primary will face Donnie Owens, a Democrat, in November.
Tuesday’s ballot will also feature a constitutional amendment — Amendment 2 —aimed at expanding Medicare to persons aged 19 to 64 with an income level at or below 133 percent of the federal poverty level, as set forth in the Affordable Care Act. Medicaid eligibility is set by state statute, but this amendment will add Medicaid Expansion to the state constitution.
While the amendment will have no direct impact on taxes, it does not provide new state funding or specify existing funding sources for the required contribution by the state to receive federal funds.


Your subscription and advertising support make this local community newspaper possible.

User login

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Enter the characters shown in the image.