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County officials sworn in; filing deadline approaches

Eight Cape Girardeau County office holders were sworn in for their upcoming terms at the County Administration Building in Jackson. Judge Michael Gardner swore in the elected officials on Dec. 31, 2018.

Scott A. Lipke was sworn in as Associate Circuit Judge Division IV, starting his third term.

Clint Tracy was sworn in as presiding commissioner. Tracy has been in that position since 2011.

Kara Clark Summers was sworn in as county clerk. She has been the county clerk since 2007.

Charleen (Charlie) Biester was sworn in for her first term as circuit court clerk.

Andrew David (Drew) Blattner was sworn in for his second term as recorder of deeds.

Mark J. Welker was sworn in as the county’s prosecuting attorney. Welker was appointed by the govenor to fill the remainder of Chris Limbaugh’s term in August, but will start his first elected term this year.

Eugene (Pete) Frazier III was sworn in and will start his third term as the county auditor.

Ruth Ann Dickerson was sworn in as sheriff. This will be her first elected term, though she has been running the department as interim sheriff since John Jordan resigned in August.

Barbara Gholson was sworn in on Monday, Dec. 3, as Cape Girardeau County Collector, after the resignation of Diane Diebold. She will start her elected term on March 4.

All of the county officials sworn in were voted in during the Nov. 6 general election. Filing for the next election on April 2 will close on Tuesday, Jan. 15.

Seats open in the City of Jackson include the mayor and one seat in each of the four wards. Mayor Dwain Hahs has filed for re-election, as has Wanda Young from Ward 1, David Hitt from Ward 2, Katy Liley for Ward 3 and Tom Kimbel from Ward 4. In addition, Steven Lee has filed for the Ward 4 seat.

The Jackson R-2 School Board has two seats up for election. Brian Thompson, who is currently on the board as vice president, is running for re-election. Brian Rivenburgh, who would be running for his first term on the board, also filed.

Two seats on the Oak Ridge R-6 School Board are up for election. As of Monday morning, no one has filed for these seats.

Jay Forness covers education, county government and community events for The Cash-Book Journal. He graduated from Southeast Missouri State University with a degree in multimedia journalism and has lived in Jackson for the past five years. He can be reached at

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