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Begley, Howe, Novak win primary races

Incumbents Steve Begley, Western District Commissioner and Wendy Howe, public administrator, narrowly defeated their Republican primary opponents, while Mark Novak easily won his race for assessor last Tuesday.

Participation in the Aug. 4 primary was light in Marion County where only 5,218 (26.65 percent) of the 19,580 registered voters cast ballots. Almost 4,000 Republican ballots were cast compared to 1,150 Democratic.

Begley drew 1,251 votes (53 percent to defeat Eddie Bogue with 1,113 votes (47 percent) to win the Republican primary for Marion County Western District Commissioner.

Begley will face Bill Goellner, who ran uncontested on the Democratic ballot, during the Nov. 3 election.

Howe’s margin of victory was closer, edging Melonie Nevels, 1,827 (50.4 pecent) to 1,797 (49.6 percent), for public administrator on the Republican ballot.

Howe, who currently holds the office, will have no opposition in November.

Novak, the incumbent county assessor, easily defeated his lone opposition, Joshua Parson, on the Republican ballot, and will have no opposition in November.

Republican voters were united in helping nominate their party’s choices in races for statewide offices and national representation.

Mike Parson, governor; Mike Kehoe, lt. governor; and Sam Graves, District 6 U.S. Representative, all won easily and received similar support in Marion County.

Parson received 79.4 percent of the vote in Marion County and 75 percent statewide, while Kehoe drew 60 percent and 59 percent respectively.

Graves defeated his one challenger by drawing 86 percent of the vote in Marion County and 80 percent district-wide.

Democrats were likewise supportive of all statewide races including governor, Nicole Gallaway (84 percent); lt. governor, Alissia Canady (62 percent); and attorney general, Rich Finneran (62 percent).

However, they supported Romona Ferris over four other candidates with 32.6 percent of the vote, while Gena L. Ross won district-wide with 32.8 percent.   

Meanwhile, Marion County voters were out of step with the rest of the state which passed Constitutional Amendment 2 calling for Medicare expansion in Missouri.

Marion County voters were against it by a margin of 3,454  (67 percent) to 1,672 (33 percent). It passed statewide by a margin of 53 to 47 percent.

Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft said the election went smoothly despite COVID-19 pandemic concerns.

“I want to thank our poll workers across the state – thousands of them – who showed up and made it possible for the people of Missouri to vote,” Ashcroft said. “And I want to thank the people of Missouri for showing up and making sure their voices were heard. That’s three times under COVID-19 that Missouri has shown the country how to have good elections – safe, secure and healthy. Let’s do it again in November.”

Unofficial totals show that of the roughly 4.16 million registered voters, about 32.9 percent cast a ballot yesterday compared to about 25 percent during the August primary in 2016.

“While many voters went to the polls [Aug. 4], there are still many who did not,” Ashcroft said. “I urge all eligible Missourians to participate in our democratic process and vote. 

Our November election will be safe. If you’re not registered, there’s time to do so before November — the deadline to register is Oct. 7. Contact your local election authority or visit to register, and most importantly, make your voice heard on Election Day.”

Unofficial election results can be viewed at The Secretary of State will certify primary election results by Aug. 25.