Election night was kind to incumbents in Nodaway County, with all four officeholders seeking re-election in contested races getting the nod from voters for new four-year terms, according to preliminary returns.
North District Commissioner Bob Westfall will return to the Administration Center across the street from the Courthouse for a third term on the county's three-member governing board.
Westfall, a Republican, received 2,580 votes, handily defeating Democratic challenger David Smith, who garnered 1,069 ballots.
In the South District, Democratic incumbent Robert Stiens felt the effects of a heavily GOP-leaning electorate, but clung to a narrow lead throughout the evening as the township totals were announced.
In the end, he fended off a strong challenge from Republican Ron Wilson, winning 2,876 to 2,238.
"I feel great," said Stiens, who will now serve a third full term after being appointed to the commission by the Gov. Bob Holden in 2004.
He said his priorities would continue to focus on improving the county's transportation infrastructure, noting that 60 new bridges had been constructed on rural gravel and dirt roads over the past eight years along with scores of drainage tube installations.
"We're going to continue doing what we've been doing," Stiens said, "and we're going to do it in the most efficient and cost-effective way that we can."
Westfall articulated much the same vision for the commission, saying that he was "thrilled to be able to serve the county again."
"I enjoy my job, and I've tried to do it well," he said. "That's why I ran again."
Both Westfall and Stiens voiced guarded support for a proposal made by Smith during the campaign that the commission work to create a permanent home for the Nodaway County Fair, currently held in downtown Maryville and at an aging livestock arena adjoining Northwest Missouri Regional Airport.
Fairgrounds supporters, the two men said, should begin with the County Fair Board and come up with a planning process that would address such issues as land acquisition and funding for construction and long-term maintenance.
"I'm not opposed to it. As long as we can pay for those things, I'm all for it," Westfall said .
Stiens said a fairgrounds was something he "would like to see happen," but added that the measure would have to elicit broad support from residents in all parts of the county.
In the other two contested races, Democratic incumbent Darren White was re-elected sheriff by a vote of 5,686 to 3,146 over Republican challenger Mike Galbraith. White said he will begin his second term by continuing to provide the highest level of service possible to county residents.
"We just want to keep moving forward and keep doing what we're doing," he said. "I want to help people understand that even though we live in a rural area, we have the same problems as everyone else. We have to do what we can to keep Nodaway County a safe place to live."
Page 2 of 2 - In his first term, White implemented 24-hour road patrols, a K-9 unit and a full-time deputy assigned to a cyber-crime task force that battles child pornography. He also re-introduced the D.A.R.E. program into the county's rural schools.
Some of the challenges facing the department, White said, include budget restrictions, the county's large geographic size and a limited number of deputies.
In the County Administrator race, Democratic incumbent Diane Thomsen was re-elected to a second term over Republican W. Lewis Rice 5,449 to 3,243.
The administrator acts as a guardian or conservator for individuals deemed by the courts to be incapable of handling their own affairs.
Thomsen said her goal for a second term is to increase public awareness about the duties of the office and to continue improving the quality of life for those charged to her care.
"I want to continue to do my job and make people more aware of what this office does," Thomsen said. "I am honored that Nodaway County gave me four more years. There are a lot of people out there that could really use our help, but they don't realize what we offer."
Currently the administrator is responsible for 65 clients who suffer from various disabilities ranging from dementia to physical and mental problems associated with drug and alcohol abuse. Thomsen said the number of clients doubled during her first four years in office, and that she will seek to create a new hired position to help handle the workload.
She also wants to push for the creation of more assisted living facilities and psychiatric care options inside the county.