Candidates file for Aug. 6 Primary Election

There are seven local county office positions that will be up for election during this year’s Aug. 6 Primary. They are eastern district commissioner, western district commissioner, sheriff, assessor, coroner, surveyor and public administrator. 

The filling period for those who wish to file as candidates for the respective offices opened Tuesday and will continue through Tuesday, March 26. To file, visit the Ozark County Clerk’s office on the main floor of the Ozark County Courthouse. 

For more information, contact the clerk’s office during regular business hours of 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at 417-679-3516. 


Eastern and western district county commissioners (4 year term)

The two separate positions of eastern district county commissioner and western district county commissioner will be up for election this year. Duties are the same for both positions, but each commissioner respectively manages their own side of the county.

The positions are currently held by Gary Collins (eastern district) and Layne Nance (western district). Nance has filed to re-run for his position as western district commissioner. Collins has indicated he will not run for re-election. In his place, retired MSHP Sgt. Jim Britt and Michael Warren have each filed to run for the eastern district commissioner position.

The county commissioners are responsible for overseeing the county’s road and bridge crews, which maintain the county roads and county road bridges, meet weekly with the presiding commissioner (a position currently held by Terry Newton) to conduct county business including preparing the county’s annual budget, approving expenditures, applying for state and federal grants and conducting other county business. 

Qualifications: Each commissioner elected from a district must reside in that district.

Salary: $29,997.72 each, per year. 


Ozark County Sheriff

The Ozark County Sheriff’s position will be on the ballot. Current Sheriff Cass Martin has indicated he plans to run for a second term.

The sheriff is responsible for maintaining the public peace and protecting the lives and property of all citizens of Ozark County, running the Ozark County Sheriff’s Department and Jail, working with the county commissioners to operate within a designated budget and managing the OCSD employees, as well as other various duties. The candidate who is elected will assume duties on Jan. 1, 2025. 

Qualifications: To qualify to run as sheriff, a candidate must have a valid peace officer license, be a resident taxpayer and elector (a person who has the right to vote in an election) of Ozark County, have resided in Ozark County for more than a year from filing and be a person capable of efficient law enforcement. 

Salary: $61,563.60, per year.


Ozark County Assessor

The Ozark County Assessor position will be up for re-election. Current Assessor Jama Berry has indicated she will file for re-election. 

The Assessor is charged with several administrative and statutory duties; however, the primary duty and responsibility is to assess all real property within their jurisdiction (except that which is otherwise provided by law). The responsibility includes residential, commercial, industrial and agricultural classes of property. 

Qualifications: To qualify to run for the assessor position, candidates must be a resident of Ozark County. 

Salary: $42,242, per year.


Ozark County Coroner

The Ozark County Coroner position will be on the ballot. Current Coroner Gene Britt, who is also the director at Clinkingbeard Funeral Home in Gainesville, has indicated he plans to file for re-election.

The county coroner is responsible for investigating certain types of deaths including homicide, suicide, accidental death, criminal abortions, unforeseen sudden occurrences (not seen by physician 36 hours preceding death), deaths while in police custody, death by lethal injection/legal execution, child deaths (under age 18), unusual or suspicious manner deaths, deaths occurring in a non-licensed health care facility (hospice type) and those occurring in licensed health care facilities (nursing homes/residential care). Other duties include to be conservator of peace through his/her own county, execute process when the sheriff is disqualified (when sheriff is a party/involved), to perform duties of the sheriff when the office is vacant by death or otherwise, to hold a coroner’s inquest/coroner’s jury and related duties to that, order autopsies, certify manner of death through death certificates, order blood sample tests for alcohol and drug content in all motor vehicle fatalities, report toxicology results in writing to the Missouri State Highway Patrol and procure cadaver organ and tissue donations.

Qualifications: To qualify to run for the coroner’s position, a candidate must be at least 21, a citizen of the United States and a resident of Ozark County for sixth months prior to the General Election. 

Salary: $12,649, per year.


Ozark County Surveyor

The Ozark County Surveyor position will be up for re-election. Current Surveyor Matt Wade has indicated he plans to file for re-election. 

The county surveyor is responsible for county-requested survey work including marking the boundaries of land, creating maps and legal descriptions and other duties. 

Qualifications: To qualify to run as surveyor, a candidate must be 21, a registered land surveyor and have resided in Ozark County for a year prior to filing. 

Salary: Fee based only, per job.


Ozark County Public Administrator

The Ozark County Public Administrator position will be on the ballot this year. Current Public Administrator Melinda Abraham has indicated she plans to file for re-election. 

The public administrator serves as a court-appointed personal representative in decedent’s estates and as guardians and/or conservators for individuals who are unable to care for themselves or their property when there is no one else to serve. The office is assigned protective and executive accountability for the estates of deceased persons and the persons and estates of minors and incapacitated or disabled persons when there is no legal guardian or conservator or when no one competent to assume such duties is known or can be found. When ordered by the Court to assume such duties, the Public Administrator provides for the proper care of the person and protects the assets of an estate against injury, waste, theft, or loss.

Qualifications: To qualify to run as public administrator, a candidate must be 21, a registered voter, current in payment of all personal and business taxes, and a resident of Missouri and of Ozark County for a year prior to the General Election. Candidates must also provide a signed affidavit from a surety company indicating the candidate meets the bond requirements for the office. 

Salary: $42,242, per year. 


Other races on the ballot

Voters will also see the following races on the ballot: township committeeman, township committeewoman, U.S. senator, governor, lt. governor, secretary of state, state treasurer, attorney general, representatives in congress for each of congressional districts (8), 33rd district state senator, members of the House of Representatives in each legislative district (163) and 44th judicial district judge. 


For more information

The Missouri election calendar shows that the last day to register to vote for the Primary Election will be July 10. 

For more information on filing or the local election process, contact the Ozark County Clerk’s office at 417-679-3516.

Ozark County Times

504 Third Steet
PO Box 188
Gainesville, MO 65655

Phone: (417) 679-4641
Fax: (417) 679-3423