Greene County voters to choose leaders at national, state and local levels during election

Steve Chapman

Republican State Senator Bob Dixon, left, takes on former State Representative Democrat Sara Lampe for the Greene County Presiding Commissioner position in the Nov. 6 general election.

On Tuesday, Nov. 6, Greene 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, for the Libertarian Party, Jo Crain for the Green Party, and Craig O’Dear is running as an 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, for the Green Party, and Jacob Luetkemeyer, for the Constitution Party.
Some candidates are running for office unopposed. Among them are: Dan Patterson, Republican, for Greene County Prosecuting Attorney and Leah Betts, Republican, for Collector of Revenue.
The Greene County Commonwealth reached out to each of the local candidates who are each facing at least one opponent in the election, providing each of them with questions to help create candidate profiles for them so the voters could make informed choices at the ballot box. The profiles of those who responded appear below:

Presiding Commissioner of the Greene County Commission
Bob Dixon

Office currently held: State Senator

Political party: Republican

Family: My wife Amanda and I have been married 26 years and we both have lived in Greene County since childhood. We have three daughters, Grace, Rose, and Olivia. and an English Springer-Spaniel named Charlie.

Education: Master of Education, Human Services, Drury University (2009) B.S., Business Administration, Drury, magna cum laude (1997) Graduate, Christian Schools of Springfield, (1987)

Why do you want to hold this office?

Results matter, and so do principles, I believe Truth, Trust and Transparency are three fundamental elements of self-governance. I was asked by community leaders to stand for election in Greene County to help restore the trust, and confidence citizens have in their local government. I was asked, in part, because of my years of bringing people together and getting things done.
There are many challenges and opportunities facing Greene County in the months and years ahead. Respect for each other is a fundamental attribute that must be cultivated for us to succeed and to provide the best services to Greene County citizens. For the first time in a long time, Greene County is well-positioned financially to deal with the challenges ahead. Because results matter, it is important to have a person who will serve the people with integrity, and who has a record of getting things done.

Why do you feel you are the best candidate for the job?

Results matter, and I have an award-winning record of delivering for the people of Greene County. I have spoken often on the importance of principled public service.
For going on two decades, I have maintained an approach of openness to the ideas of others regardless of political preference, party, or prior opinion. I hope voters agree this is the kind of service and leadership we need in Greene County now.
Additionally, I have made a public promise to the citizens, the employees, and the elected public servants of Greene County to truly adhere to the letter and the spirit of the Law, to respect the citizens as originators, beneficiaries and guardians of their own County Government. As a public servant, it is essential to operate with a true sense of respect for each independent office holder. I made this pledge because I value the confidence of our citizens and because I believe a solid foundation of trust is necessary to consistently serve the public well.

What previous public offices have you held?

For sixteen years, I have served the citizens of Greene County, first as State Representative, and later as State Senator. In the Senate, I was appointed Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, the first non-attorney to hold that post since the 1830’s. Working cooperatively with my colleagues, I spearheaded the first complete revision of the Missouri Criminal Code in 35 years and the process for the first redrawing of Missouri’s Judicial Circuits since 1959. These are just two of the many results that matter, because these overhauls delivered relief to local government and law enforcement.
During my service in the House, my peers elected me twice as Majority Caucus Chairman. I was appointed Caucus Chaplain and Chair of the Transportation Committee.

What are the most important issues we’re facing right now, and how do you plan to handle them?

There are a number of issues that will continue to challenge our county, some are the core elements of county government- like budgeting, facing regulatory issues, and personnel matters. At the same time, there are other issues which are relevant because of the changes and growth in our communities. Issues like the opioid crisis, domestic violence, and a growing and diverse population have an impact on the courts and law enforcement, and even budget, job development issues, and transportation issues. These issues have an impact on our communities and families. There is a need for someone to step into this leadership role for the county who will set a respectful tone and bring people together to face these challenges.

What else would you like for the voters to know about you?

My wife Amanda and I have been married 26 years and we both have lived in Greene County since childhood. We have three daughters, Grace, Rose, and Olivia. Greene County is our home, and we care about our communities. I would respectfully ask for your consideration, your trust, and your vote on Tuesday, November 6th.

Sara Lampe

Political party: Democrat

Family: I am a life-long Missourian. My grandchildren are 6th generation Ozarkers. I have three sons and eight grandchildren. They are the 3rd and 4th generations living at our home place in the center of Springfield.

Education: Bachelor’s of Science in elementary education, SMSU; Master’s of Science in Educational Administration, Drury University.

Why do you want to hold this office?

Greene County is ready for a change and I am the change candidate. It is the right time for a new voice in Greene County leadership – the kind of voice that kept Central High School open and the voice that delivered the crucial votes for the MSU name change. Greene County deserves experienced leadership that is accountable, common sense, and transparent.

Why do you feel you are the best candidate for the job?

I am the best candidate for the job because I have decades of proven leadership managing public employees and public budgets with full transparency while leading people toward common goals. People know me as their child’s teacher, principal, professor, colleague, State Representative in the House of Representatives as the ranking member on the budget committee, and a strong voice for them.
What are the most important issues we’re facing right now, and how do you plan to handle them?

Returning Greene County to being the envy of the state instead of an embarrassment will be a top priority for me.  I’ll be a trustworthy steward of our resources and a strong voice for the entire county. Oversight of the recently approved tax is vital for county leadership as we begin construction of a new jail. We need to focus on protecting the health of all citizens and keeping a high standard for water quality. It will also be important to rebuild trust with county employees who work hard every day to keep us safe, staff our libraries, and pave our roads. The culture of the county will be a top priority for me by returning Greene County leadership to collaboration and consensus building, engaging the entire county and area municipalities in debate, discussions and seeking ways to cooperate.

What else would you like for the voters to know about you?

My experience matches the needs for the job of Presiding Commissioner. I am energetic, innovative, and forward-looking. I value the creativity and dedication of people who work with me. I’m secure enough to hear critiques, and to learn from the expertise others bring to the table. I welcome ideas and new ways we can move forward through discussion and civil discourse.
It would be an honor and a privilege to serve the citizens of Greene County as the Presiding Commissioner.

Candidates for State Representative, 130th District:
Tyler Gunlock
Political Party: Democrat
Family: Son of a retired union lineman and retired teacher, and proud uncle.
Education: I’m a 1996 graduate of Ash Grove High School and a 2001 graduate of the
University of Missouri-Columbia. I also completed a post-graduate summer language program at
Johns Hopkins University in 2008.
Why do you feel you’re the best candidate for the job?
I’m old enough to be skeptical but young enough to believe we can make things better. Having
relationships with the people you want to represent is the most important part of the job, and
forming those relationships so far has been the most enjoyable part of this process. I’ve talked
with people from all over the district and political spectrum and have had more wonderful
conversations than I can count. I’m passionate about getting policy right, but I think that going
door to door and speaking with constituents has turned out to be a right and necessary training
for this job. If there’s not a connection with the folks you aim to represent, then you’re just a part
of the old boys’ club and a rubber stamp for misplaced priorities.

Jeff Messenger - Did not submit answers to the Commonwealth.

Candidates for State Senator, 20th District:
Eric Burlison
Political party: Republican
Family: My wife, Angie, and I have two daughters, Reese and Aubrey. We attend Destiny Church in Republic.
Education: Master’s in Business Administration from SMSU.
Why do you feel you are the best candidate for the job?
I have both private sector and public sector experience. I have more than 20 years of experience in the software industry working for companies including CoxHealth and Cerner, I also have experience in running my own small rental home business, and serving as a state representative for eight years.

Jim Billedo - Did not submit answers to the Commonwealth.

Candidates for State Representative for the 131st District

Candidates for State Representative, 131st District:

Sonya Murray Anderson
Political party: Republican
Family: Married to husband Jim Anderson for 28 years; two children – Zack and Tyler
Education: Willard High School, Southwest Missouri State University
Why do you feel you are the best candidate for the job?
As a seventh generation resident of northern Greene County, I’m like many of the folks in this area who have invested their life in this community. I care about the people, our state and our future and I am committed to defending our southwest Missouri values. My voting record, as well as the legislation I have sponsored and passed, proves I am a consistent conservative voice for the 131st District. As your State Representative, I can assure you that I will continue to work hard for Missouri and my constituents.   I am also the only candidate in my race endorsed by Missouri Right to Life, NRA, NFIB, Missouri Cattlemen Association, and the Missouri Chamber of Commerce.  

Nate Branscom - Did not submit answers to the Commonwealth.

Clerk for the Greene County Commission:
Shane Schoeller
Political party: Republican
Family: Married to Mendie Schoeller and we have three children, Emma, Dorthy and Johnny, who attend Willard Public Schools.               
Education: Southwest Baptist University, Bolivar Mo., 1990 - 1994      
BS in Political Science & Psychology; Minor in Communications
Branson High School, Branson MO, 1990 College Prep Diploma
Why do you feel you are the best candidate for the job?
As county clerk I understand the importance of listening to others who have diverse backgrounds and different experiences. It is for that reason I created an election advisory board, comprising 35 people representing a diverse cross-section of local residents, who helped give valuable input that helped in the choosing of the new voting equipment for Greene County.
The new voting system, which is paper ballot based to protect the integrity of every vote cast, saved Greene County taxpayers over $60,000 in April 2018 alone, compared to the past two April elections.

Maggie Tuck
Political party: Democrat
Family: Husband, Scott; four sons, Daughter-in-Law, new grandson
Education: BS Socio-Political Communication, Missouri State University; Currently completing MPA in Public Administration with focus in Municipal Finance/Management from Villanova University; AS Applied Science/ Respiratory Therapy, Ozarks Technical College
Why do you feel you are the best candidate for the job?
I have spent the last several years working for a nonpartisan nonprofit organization teaching civil civic education. I know that I am capable of working with individuals from all political backgrounds and beliefs. The position of clerk is nonpartisan. As a military member, I am a firm believer that all members of the community should be represented, and all voices should be heard. Leadership and strong administrative skills in this position are extremely important. Understanding of municipal finance and training election judges are important skills needed for this position.

Greene County Auditor
Cindy S. Stein      
Political party: Republican
Education: Missouri State University (formerly Southwest Missouri State) Bachelor of Science in Accounting, Minor in Computer Science and Certified Public Accountant. Past president and member of the Missouri Association of County Auditors, past president and member of Association of Government Accountants and recipient of the 2017 AGA Distinguished Local Government Leadership Award.
Why do you feel you are the best candidate for the job?  
There are many roles of the county auditor, from auditing the books and records of all county functions, to ensuring compliance with all federal grant programs, to verifying the location and value of all county assets, to compiling the annual financial statement. One of the most important roles is to create checks and balances by verifying that all county expenditures have a lawful and true purpose, that there is a budget amount for the expenditure and that cash is available for the expenditure. I possess the professional and technical skills, complemented with institutional knowledge to continue with the goals of the auditor’s office and the goals of the county. I will continue to uphold the statutory obligations of the office, which dictates the protocols for the auditor.

Kai Sutton
Political party: Democrat
Family: Engaged mother of five (four girls and one son)
Education: Degree in Business Administration with Accounting
Why do you feel that you are the best candidate for the job?
I feel I'd be a great candidate for Greene County Auditor because I'm honest. Taxpayers deserve someone who is (going to) keep them in the know and communicate how tax dollars are being spent.
What else would you like for the voters to know about you?



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