By Lynn A. Wade
Nevada Daily Mail
The most hotly contested race in Vernon County seemed it could easily swing either way, but in the end, Republican challenger Jason Mosher easily unseated incumbent Ron Peckman.
Peckman gleaned 3,354 votes; Mosher, 5,113, or 39.56 percent to 60.30 percent.
Peckman has been Vernon County Sheriff since 2000, and in that time many changes took place in the sheriff's office and in Vernon County, including the construction of a new sheriff's office and jail.
Peckman and his wife Shirley have three children, Courtney Hanson of Richards, Meagan of Nevada and Ty of Columbia, and a grandchild.
Mosher, the son of Terry and Karen Mosher of Nevada, attended Calvary Christian School until the fourth grade and then was homeschooled. He has three sisters and four brothers and he and his wife April have three girls and four boys. They live at Milo.
Mosher began his career as a campus policeman at MSSU, where he will earn a bachelor's degree in December. He had been with the Jasper Police Department for a year when he was promoted to chief.
As final election night results came in, a somber Peckman replied simply that he'd look for a new job, asked what he'd do next.
Mosher said he's "Very pleased with the numbers. It was a tough race and we put a lot of time and work into and had a lot of people helping."
As for his upcoming role as sheriff, Mosher said, "I think it'll be a lot of work look; but I look forward to it, and I look forward to serving the people of Vernon County."
The race for Vernon County Southern Commissioner was a closer affair, with Republican Everett Wolfe prevailing over Democrat Jill Couch in a bid for the seat vacated by Republican Kennon Shaw. Wolfe garnered 2,635 votes to Couch's 2,125. Wolfe said he was going home to rest.
In the race for Vernon County Public Administrator, Democrat Tammy Bond held on to her seat with just over 65 percent of the ballots cast in her favor, or 5,440 votes. Republican challenger Clay Lyons Jr. gleaned 2,880 votes.
Bond said, "I appreciate the people of Vernon County giving me the chance to keep doing what I'm doing. A lot of clients have been calling me today," she said.
Prior to the election, the Missouri Secretary of State's Office estimated voter turnout would be about 72 percent, statewide. Vernon County's turnout was 71.28 percent overall, with the lowest average turnout at the home economics building in Nevada, and the highest percentage at Moundville. A total of 1,010 absentee ballots were cast. Of 12,086 registered voters, 8,627 cast ballots in Tuesday's election.