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New county officials to be sworn in
New county officials to be sworn in

Outgoing County Clerk Diana Linnenbringer explains some of her duties to her successor, Brent Bassett.
PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. (Dec. 30, 2010) — Today’s county commission meeting will be the last for County Clerk Diana Linnenbringer, who has already packed her bags for a planned move back to her hometown on the east side of the state.

One of Linnenbringer’s last official duties today before turning the reins over to her successor, Brent Bassett, will be a 10 a.m. swearing-in ceremony for newly elected or re-elected county officials.

Bassett had no opposition in the general election and won a three-way Republican primary in August after Linnenbringer decided not to run for re-election following eight years as county clerk and previous service as the child support enforcement officer under a former prosecuting attorney.

In addition to Bassett, those officials will include:

  • St. Robert Alderman Gene Newkirk, who won a two-way Republican primary in August and defeated incumbent Presiding Commissioner Don McCulloch in the November general election;
  • St. Robert City Attorney and Waynesville Municipal Judge Kevin Hillman, who defeated incumbent Prosecuting Attorney Deborah Hooper in a three-way Republican primary and then Democratic former prosecutor Wayne Gifford in the general election;
  • incumbent Circuit Court Clerk Rachelle Beasley, who defeated her Republican challenger, Ken Miller, in the general election and also serves as the county’s recorder of deeds;
  • Pulaski County Deputy Public Administrator Sue Rapone, who after incumbent County Treasurer Morris Roam decided not to run, won a three-way Republican primary and then defeated Democratic candidate Ted Helms in the general election; and
  • two judicial incumbents, Associate Circuit Judge Greg Warren of the Probate Division and Associate Circuit Judge Colin Long of the Magistrate Division, both of whom ran unopposed in the primary and general elections.

In addition, County Collector Terri Mitchell, who ran unopposed in both the Republican primary and the general election, will be sworn in at the end of March. The terms of all county officials run for four years and most run from January of one year to December four years later; the exceptions are the county collector and county assessor, which due to their roles in tax collection and assessment, begin at a later date.

Today’s ceremony will mark another step in an ongoing change in party affiliation in Pulaski County, which was once overwhelmingly controlled by Democrats.

Except for Beasley, all of the contested races were won by Republicans, and except for Hillman, all of them will be replacing Democratic incumbents. Beginning next year, all four officials sitting at the Pulaski County Commission table will be Republicans, and besides Beasley and the two judges, the only remaining Democrats in county office will be County Assessor Roger Harrison and two part-time positions, County Coroner Mikel Hartness and County Surveyor John Mackey.

The county assessor, county sheriff, county public administrator, county coroner, county surveyor, and eastern and western district county commissioners are elected in presidential election years rather than the off-year elections for the county collector and the seven officials scheduled to be sworn in today.

State law allows any of the seven officials who can’t be present for today’s swearing-in ceremony to be sworn in at a later date by the county clerk or circuit court clerk.

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