As the summer campaign season creeps in, candidates for local offices are stocking their political war chests before the Aug. 7 primary elections.
Several of the top elected positions in Franklin County government are being contested this year with some familiar faces and newcomers alike.
The beginning of 2019 will mark the end of the political career of current County Presiding Commissioner John Griesheimer after nearly 40 years of holding office from alderman to state senator.
Two Republican candidates, both from Washington, are squaring off to fill the county’s top elected seat, and the campaign funds are currently very even.
According to the April quarterly reports filed with the Missouri Ethics Commission, current First District Commissioner Tim Brinker has $5,109.
A second candidate and current Washington School Board member, Trish Mitchell, is not far behind with $4,497 in accumulated campaign funds.
The third candidate to throw his hat in the ring is the city engineer for the city of Union, Johnathan Zimmermann, who has yet to register a political committee with the state agency.
Also retiring at the end of this year is longtime county Prosecutor Robert Parks.
The first new face to hold the office in more than 20 years will be either Samantha Wacker or Matt Becker, both of Washington.
Currently, Becker leads in the war chest department with $25,105 to Wacker’s $3,996 in campaign funds.
The retirement of long-serving county Collector Linda Emmons has resulted in a three-way race to fill her seat as well.
Political newcomer and St. Clair resident Jamie Keen leads the trifecta with $10,210 in the bank.
Neither Chief-Deputy Collector Doug Trentmann or the third candidate, Tracy Comely have established political committees as of now.
Both Trentmann and Comely live in Washington.
County Clerk Debbie Door will join Griesheimer, Emmons and Parks in retirement, ushering in a newcomer for the first time in more than two decades.
Two Republican candidates, Tim Baker, Robertsville, and Kyle Dubbert, Villa Ridge, have filed to succeed Door.
Thus far, Baker, who is no stranger to campaigning for office in Franklin County, has raised just $375.
Dubbert has yet to register a political committee with the Missouri Ethics Commission.
In the race for county municipal judge, neither Republican candidates, Gael D. Wood, Washington, or A. David Arand, Union, have created committees. Democratic municipal judge candidate Bill Stahlhuth, Labadie, has no committee filed as of yet.
In addition to the contested seats, County Auditor Tammy Vemmer, Circuit Clerk Bill D. Miller, Recorder of Deeds Jennifer Metcalf, Associate Circuit Judge-Division VI David L. Hoven and Associate Circuit Judge-Division VII Stan Williams will run unopposed for re-election.
Political newcomer, Joseph W. Purschke, will run unopposed for Associate Circuit Judge–Division 5.