CLAY COUNTY — Voters who cast their ballot in the Tuesday, Aug. 4 primary will choose from a slew of candidates running for the state and county’s top offices as well as U.S. representative. The following is a rundown of those running in contested Missouri House district and county races as well as details on ballot questions being put voters on Medicaid expansion and construction projects in the Smithville School District.
Western Clay County Commissioner
On the Republican primary ballot, voters will choose between four candidates for western commissioner of Clay County. Candidates are Josiah Bechtold, Barry McCullough, Lydia McEvoy and Rodney Phillips. The top vote-getter will advance to the general election in November and face the winner of the Democratic primary. State Rep. Jon Carpenter faces current Clay County Assessor Cathy Rinehart in the Democratic race.
Eastern Clay County Commissioner
Voters in the Republican primary will choose one of three candidates to face lone Democrat candidate Dustin Bell in the November general election for the office of eastern Clay County commissioner. Republicans on the primary ballot are Doug Ervin, Megan Thompson and Dan Troutz.
Clay County Assessor
Republican voters have three candidates, Tracy Baldwin, Bill Keefer and Chris Lonsdale, to choose from in the Aug. 4 primary for county assessor. The winner will face lone Democrat to run, Bruce Cantwell, in the November general election.
Clay County Treasurer
As no Democrats filed for the office, those voting in the Aug. 4 election will choose between three Republicans to represent them as Clay County’s next treasurer. Appointed incumbent Bob Nance faces challengers Lisa Vogelbaugh Keefer and Jesse Leimkuehler for the four-year seat.
Missouri House District 8
In the August primary for state House District 8, which covers a portion of northern Clay County including parts of Kearney and Holt, voters will select the next representative from four Republican candidates: Gary Stroud, Darlene Breckenridge, Randy Railsback and David Woody as no Democrats filed for the office. Incumbent Jim Neely is being term-limited out of office and cannot run for reelection. He is currently running as a Republican primary candidate for governor.
Missouri House District 12
Two Republican candidates are on the Aug. 4 ballot for state representative of Missouri House District 12, which includes Smithville. Candidates are Josh Hurlbert and Deanette Lemons. The winner of this race will go on to face sole Democrat and current Smithville school board member Wade Kiefer.
Missouri House District 15
Two Republican candidates, Adam Richardson and Steve West, vie to move to the November general election for Missouri House District 15, which includes Gladstone. The winner of the Republican primary will face Maggie Nurrenbern, the lone Democrat to file.
Smithville School District ballot question
Smithville School District is asking two questions of district voters on the August ballot. The first question reads, “Shall the Smithville R-II School District issue its general obligation bonds in the amount of $14.1 million for the purpose of constructing, improving, renovating, furnishing and equipping school facilities, including construction of six additional classrooms at Eagle Heights Elementary School, a field house/activity center at the stadium, playground improvements and various mechanical improvements?”
If this question is approved, the district’s debt service property tax levy is estimated to remain unchanged at $1.1535 per $100 of assessed valuation of real and personal property.
The second question is asking to transfer 10 cents of the debt service levy to the operations levy, which will result in the same total levy amount reorganized to supply more funds in an account that can go towards operations of the district and fewer funds toward debt payments.
The question reads, “Shall the Board of Education of Smithville R-II School District be authorized to increase the District’s operating property tax levy by $0.10 per $100 of assessed valuation for the purpose of paying general operating expenses of the district?”
“If this question is approved, the adjusted operating property tax levy of the district is expected to increase from $3.9465 to $4.0465 per $100 of assessed valuation of real and personal property and the district expects to make a corresponding reduction of its debt service property tax levy by $0.10 from $1.1535 to $1.0535 per $100 of assessed valuation, resulting in the estimated overall district adjusted property tax levy remaining unchanged at $5.1000 per $100 of assessed valuation,” the district website states.
For more information on projects to be funded by the district’s question one, visit smithvilleschooldistrict.net/Page/1470.
Constitutional Amendment 2
Missouri voters will be asked on the August ballot if they approve expanding the state’s Medicaid program. It is estimated expansion of MO HealthNet, the state’s Medicaid program, would add about 230,000 people to its rolls. MO HealthNet already serves about 900,000 people.
A “yes” vote supports expanding Medicaid eligibility in Missouri to adults age 19 to 64 whose income is 133% of the federal poverty level or below, which would effectively expand Medicaid to those with incomes at or below 138% of the federal poverty level under the Affordable Care Act; prohibiting any additional restrictions or requirements for the expanded population to qualify for Medicaid coverage than for other populations that qualify for Medicaid coverage; and requiring the state to seek maximum federal funding of Medicaid expansion.
If approved, state government entities are estimated to have one-time costs of approximately $6.4 million and an unknown annual net fiscal impact by 2026 ranging from increased costs of at least $200 million to savings of $1 billion, according to the Secretary of State’s Office.