The February 2, 2010, ballot in southwest Missouri will be one of the lightest in a long time: two issues/races.
Voters in the Mark Twain school district are being asked to consider a property tax levy. The district wants an 89 cent increase that would generate $60,000. The money would not create new programs but instead just keep the status quo. Superintendent Bruce Forrest says he's worried about the school's ability to stay open because of declining enrollment, less state money and less money coming from the federal government. Much of Mark Twain's district includes land in the Mark Twain National Forest.
Voters in Missouri's 62nd state house district will decide who will fill the seat of Dennis Wood. Wood resigned in September to accept the appointment by Gov. Jay Nixon to be Stone County presiding commissioner.
Republicans chose Nita Jane Ayres to appear on the ballot. Ayres had hoped to get the commissioner job. Libertarians also have a candidate: Patty Tweedle.
According to Missouri Ethics Commission reports, through December 31, Ayres had raised $20,355 during the fourth quarter of 2009. She had just $11,000 left after buying signs, t-shirts, and mailers for her campaign.
As of this writing, the Tweedle campaign did not have any reports on file with the MEC.
Where's a Democrat? James "Jim" Rynard had gotten the support of local Dems. But according to the Stone County Gazette, he was removed from the ballot for failing to file the proper paperwork. Rynard told Chad Livengood he did that intentionally since he was closing his law firm and moving out of the area.
The winner will only get to enjoy the victory for a few months. The seat will be open again in the fall. Filing for the August primary begins February 23.