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Riekhof wins contentious race for prosecutor

Public safety tax fails by 8 votes

Justin Addison, Editor/Publisher
Posted 11/15/22

Nearly 60% of Howard County voters turned out to the polls to cast votes in the November 8 midterm election.  

On the ballot locally was a vehement race for Howard County Prosecutor and a …

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Riekhof wins contentious race for prosecutor

Public safety tax fails by 8 votes


Nearly 60% of Howard County voters turned out to the polls to cast votes in the November 8 midterm election. 

On the ballot locally was a vehement race for Howard County Prosecutor and a proposed public safety sales tax for Fayette. Statewide, races for open U.S. Senate and U.S. Representative seats and a marijuana legalization bill lured voters to the polls.

Howard County Clerk Shelly Howell, who ran unopposed in Tuesday’s election, predicted a better-than-60% turnout. A total of 3,912 of Howard County’s 6,810 voters, 57.44%, voted in Tuesday’s midterm. (Please turn to Page 5 for complete results)

“First off, I want to give a huge thank you to my staff, all of my election judges, and to Mark Belcher for announcing results. If it weren’t for any of them, nothing would go as smooth as it does during election time,” Howell said following Tuesday’s election. “Please take the time to thank the judges and my staff for the hard work they do. They put in long hours, and times are stressful due to the changing ID laws, but we made it through without issues.

“I also want to thank the citizens of Howard County for allowing me to be your County Clerk for another term. The job is very rewarding and challenging, but I enjoy every minute of every day.”

Howard County voters continued a trend to favor GOP candidates heavily. Republican incumbent Deborah Riekhof won the race for Prosecuting Attorney by a landslide over challenger Robert R. Flaspohler who ran as an Independent. A two-term incumbent, Mrs. Riekhof secured 58.79% of the vote.

“I’m thankful the results are what they are. And I’m grateful for the continued support from the Howard County voters,” Mrs. Riekhof said shortly after the results were announced. “You never know until the numbers come in. And I’m really disappointed about all the negative campaigning.”

Mrs. Riekhof won every voting precinct except for Richmond Township (Fayette), which favored Mr. Flaspohler, 560 to 478.

Although running as an Independent, Mr. Flaspohler, who in 2010 ran for prosecutor as a Democrat, faced an uphill battle in a county that has steadfastly voted Republican in the last several elections.

“I wish Ms. Riekhof the best. The voters made their decision. I appreciate the opportunity to run,” Mr. Flaspohler said Tuesday night.

Howard County voters also said no to Amendment 3, which had drawn statewide bipartisan opposition in recent weeks leading up to the November 8 election. The “No” votes totaled 2,065, or 52.94%, with 1,763 votes, or 46.06%, in favor. However, Amendment 3 gained 53.090% statewide approval for passage.

All other elections for county-wide offices were unopposed, including that for Circuit Clerk and Recorder of Deeds. A primary race for the Republican nomination for the office was won by Teresa Syferd by just three votes. She will take over for longtime Circuit Clerk Charles Flaspohler, a Democrat, who will retire after 44 years on the job.

In addition, Missouri District 48 Representative Tim Taylor, a Republican, was unchallenged in his bid for a second term.

Voters in Fayette narrowly defeated a half-cent public safety tax, 338 to 330. The sales tax would have been used to help fund police and fire departments. Fayette City Marshal David Ford said the city will try again to pass the sales tax, likely putting it on the April 4, 2023, ballot.

Howard County voters overwhelmingly approved Republican Eric Schmitt to replace outgoing GOP U.S. Senator Roy Blunt with 65.29% of the vote. Democrat Trudy Busch Valentine tallied 31.25% of votes here. Mr. Schmitt won easily with 55.432% of the statewide vote.

For State Auditor, Howard County voters strongly backed Republican Scott Fitzpatrick with 71.8% of the vote. Democrat Alan Green had 24.29%, with Libertarian John A. Hartwig, Jr. bringing in 3.9%.

Mr. Fitzpatrick went on to win with 59.425% statewide voter approval.

Howard County also strongly supported Republican Mark Alford over Democrat Jack Truman and Libertarian Randy Langkraehr for District 4 U.S. Representative. The seat was previously held by Republican Vicky Hartzler, who lost the GOP primary for U.S. Senate. Mr. Alford raked in 69.96% of the vote in Howard County, compared to 26.64% for Mr. Truman and 3.41% for Mr. Langkraehr. Mr. Alford won in a landslide with 71.301% of the vote across the district.


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