Filing for the August primary election officially opened Tuesday morning and the majority of Stone County office holders plan to seek office again.
Open positions include those of two associate circuit judges, circuit court clerk, prosecuting attorney, presiding commissioner, county clerk, county recorder, county treasurer, county collector, northern road commissioner and southern road commissioner.
|Stone County presiding commissioner Dennis Wood|
Stone County Presiding Commissioner Dennis Wood will seek his second full term. Wood, has held the position for one term after he was appointed to serve out the remaining term of George Cutbirth, who resigned.
"I’m very proud of what we’ve accomplished in Stone County in the last five years while I’ve been presiding commissioner, but there are still some things I’d love to see happen," he said. "I think we’re going to have some phenomenal growth in the next four years and I want to be a part of it."
The presiding commissioner, who is paid $38,4000 annually, works alongside the northern and southern commissioners. They oversee all county departments, set the county budget and is the decision-making body of the county.
David Stump Jr. has also said he will seek the office of presiding commissioner.
Stone County Prosecuting Attorney Matt Selby, who was elected to his position in 1999, will ask voters for a fifth term.
"I prosecute because I believe that as a prosecutor I have more opportunities to help people than in any other thing I could do as an attorney or as an elected official," he said. "I just have a lot more that I want to accomplish. Plus, I love my job and the opportunities to make a difference."
The prosecutor's office is responsible for handling all state criminal cases filed in the county. The position pays $132,272, according to the Stone County clerk’s office.
Circuit Court Clerk Debbie Scobee also plans to file for re-election. She was elected to her first term in 2012, but has been employed in the circuit clerk's office for almost 30 years. The position has an annual salary of $55, 088.
"I love my job," she said. "I find it really interesting. It’s one that’s never boring, but it’s challenging."
The circuit clerk maintains calenders for the court, some administrative duties and keeping the clerks up to date on new mandates and statutes.
Stone County Clerk Judy Berkstresser will not be seek re-election. Her deputy clerk Cindy Elmore, county commission assistant Denise Dickens and newcomer Matthew Carr have expressed interest in the position which pays $54,000 per year.
Recorder Amy Larson, who has held her office for two terms, will also file for re-election. That salary also pays $54,000 annually.
"I just enjoy my job and I have lots of projects started I’d like to get the chance to finish," she said.
Treasurer Kristi Stephen is seeking her fifth term.
"I just love serving the citizens of the county,” she said."“I’ve always been sort of a service-oriented person. It’s a job that I dearly love and I feel I keep the office very accountable and very trustworthy."
Stephens was first elected in 1999. The position also pays a yearly salary of $54,000.
Collector Vicki May will seeking a fifth term as well.
The collector’s is responsible for property tax and distributing funds to the proper county entities.
"Why wouldn’t I," she said when asked if she planned to run again. "I think things are going well in the county and I just enjoy working with the people."
According to the clerk’s office, the collector’s salary is $54,000.
Associate Circuit Judge Mark Stephens, who held the position for two terms and handles a mostly civil and juvenile docket, will ask voters to elect him to a third term. The position pays $116,858, according to the circuit clerk’s office.
|Associate circuit court judge Mark Stephens|
Associate Circuit Judge Alan Blankenship, who handles criminal cases and drug and dwi court, will also seek re-election. That position also pays $116,858.
|Associate circuit court judge Alan Blankenship|
Voters will also elect road commissioners for northern and southern Stone County. They meet twice a month and are paid a stipend of about $20 a month. James Gold and Stan Potter currently hold those positions respectively.