What’s On Next Week’s Ballot In Benton County

By: 
Joyce Coates
County Reporter
Putting aside projections from both major parties that victory of the other in the presidential election will lead to the Nation’s rapid decline, election issues with more immediate impact on Benton County deserve equal attention. State and local government positions and three amendments to the Missouri Constitution are also on the ballot.
At the State level, Missouri voters will choose between incumbents—all Republicans--or their rivals—running for Governor, Lt. Governor, Secretary of State, State Treasurer, Attorney General, and U.S. House Representative for District 4.
Running unopposed are candidates for: State Representative - District 57; District 125, County Sheriff, Assessor, Coroner, Surveyor, Public Administrator, and North District Commissioner. 
The only contested County race is between Democrat John Spry and Republican Larry G. Berry for South District Commissioner. 
Spry thanks voters for their support, recalling the 8 years he served previously as South District Commissioner. Two of his priorities would be to maintain county roads and grow the economy.  
“Working with businesses to come to the county and with agencies such as Kaysinger Basin Regional Planning Commission to build new businesses or add to existing ones. They have guidelines on health insurance and other benefits.”
He supports expanding internet and broadband services, especially in the underserved rural areas as important for quality of life and economic growth. Spry foresees yearly progress in getting service to those areas.
Berry says he would bring leadership, integrity and 40 plus years’ experience to the position. His priorities would be to improve county roads and bring in new business and industry with better pay, working with the Enhanced Enterprise Zone to attract new industries.
“Having two lakes in Benton County is a prime location for a large sporting goods retail store. Lt. Governor Kehoe and I are planning a meeting with a well-known retailer, a family-oriented business that will create more jobs, broaden the tax base and bring in more tourism.”
Berry will “support and help grow Benton County,” he said, and “would appreciate your vote on November 3.”
Finally, the impact of each of the three amendments, if passed, is presented for readers basic understanding. Voters are encouraged to read the full text of each proposed amendment available on the Secretary of State website: https://www.sos.mo.gov/elections/petitions/2020BallotMeasures, to make an informed decision.
“Yes” on Amendment 1 – Term Limits - means limiting time in office for Lt. Governor, Secretary of State, State Auditor, and Attorney General to two terms, as is currently in effect for the Governor and State Treasurer.
“Yes” on Amendment 2 – Medicaid Expansion - means expanding Medicaid to individuals from ages 19 – 64 whose income is no more than 133% of the federal poverty rate. (See Health and Human Services website at https://aspe.hhs.gov/poverty-guidelines). For example, based on poverty guidelines, a single person in the age range above with income no greater than $16,971 annually (133% of $12,760) would be eligible; a family of four with annual income no greater than $34,846 (133% of $26,200) would qualify. 
“Yes” on Amendment 3 – Campaign Contributions and Redistricting – means reducing contribution limits for candidates for State Senate to $2,400 from $2,500; prohibiting gifts of any value from paid lobbyists to state legislators and employees; taking responsibility for redrawing districts from a “non-partisan state demographer” to a bipartisan commission; changing criteria for redrawing districts to “as nearly equal as practicable in the population,” and changing count from a “total population” approach to “citizen voting-age or eligible voter standard” (Ballotpedia.org).

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