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Election 2022

Syferd wins County Clerk race by three votes

Angie Nelson announced Wednesday she would not ask for recount Ambulance, fire district tax hikes overwhelmingly approved

Justin Addison, Editor/Publisher
Posted 8/9/22

Teresa Syferd will be the next Howard County Circuit 14 Clerk Ex-Officio Recorder of Deeds. In a close race between Mrs. Syferd and Angie Nelson, only three votes separated the two Republicans …

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Election 2022

Syferd wins County Clerk race by three votes

Angie Nelson announced Wednesday she would not ask for recount Ambulance, fire district tax hikes overwhelmingly approved


Teresa Syferd will be the next Howard County Circuit 14 Clerk Ex-Officio Recorder of Deeds. In a close race between Mrs. Syferd and Angie Nelson, only three votes separated the two Republicans following Tuesday’s primary election. Mrs. Syferd had tallied 770 votes to Mrs. Nelson’s 767 when unofficial returns were announced.

It was understood at the time that a recount would be mandatory due to the close finish. However, Howard County Clerk Shelly Howell said on Wednesday that after speaking with Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft, a recount would take place only at the request of one or both candidates and only after the election results were certified on Monday.

Mrs. Nelson announced on her campaign’s Facebook page shortly after 6 p.m. on Wednesday that she would not seek a recount, therefore conceding the race. 

“I will not request a recount and I accept the results as reported last night,” Mrs. Nelson wrote. “I look forward to working with the next Howard County Clerk & Recorder, Teresa Syferd. Congratulations on your win!!!”

Mrs. Syferd told this newspaper that she was thankful for the win and is ready to get to work.

The two women ran clean campaigns and have known and worked with one another for years.

“I want to thank Angie. She’s a wonderful human being, and I could not have asked for a better person to have run against,” Mrs. Syferd said shortly after the announcement was made on Wednesday. “I want to thank my family and my friends. I’m very excited to work for Howard County. I’m grateful and excited.”

Since no candidate from any other party ran for the position, Syferd will assume the duties as Circuit Clerk Ex-Officio Recorder of Deeds on January 1. She will take over for Charles Flaspohler, a Democrat, who will retire after 44 years on the job.

Mrs. Syferd has served as a Real Estate Closer and Closing Coordinator for the last 18 years at George G. Smith and Son, Inc., and often works closely with the Recorder’s office. Prior to that, she worked in the loan department at Commercial Trust Company in Fayette.

A 2000 graduate of Fayette High School, Mrs. Syferd is a life-long native of Howard County. She and her husband, Chip, live on her family’s farm in northeast Howard County with their three children. She is the daughter of Brenda and Harry A. Dougherty, and the granddaughter of the late Harry and Aleen Dougherty, and Evelyn and the late James Boggs of Higbee.

Ironically, both Mrs. Syferd and Mrs. Nelson filed their candidacies at the same time on the same day. Both work on the south side of the Fayette square, barely 100 feet from one another. Mrs. Nelson is a secretary in the law office of Frank Robert Flaspohler. The two women often work together on projects between the two offices and have long considered one another friends.

County voters approve tax levy increases for ambulance service and fire district

Also closely watched on the ballot were proposed tax levy increases for the Howard County Ambulance Service and the Howard County Fire Protection District. Both passed easily with margins of better than 16 percent.

Voters approved a 19-cent hike for the ambulance service’s tax levy ceiling, raising it from 30 cents to 49 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. The measure cleared by 16.44 percent, 1,194 to 857.

Ambulance service director Frank Flaspohler said he felt reassured after the tax increase was passed. “That’s encouraging, and I’m relieved,” he said. “It kind of helps knowing where to focus for the future, and things are looking really good for getting an EMT class going this fall. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel. We’re pleased, and we thank the voters for supporting us.”

Leading up to the election, the ambulance service delivered flyers to homes throughout the county that stated if the tax hike wasn’t approved, it would have to cut costs by staffing only one ambulance for the entire county and reducing service to only Basic Life Support. “I’m glad that we get to keep two ambulances and ALS (Advanced Life Support) in Howard County,” Mr. Flaspohler said.

The increase is expected to generate an additional $240,000 a year. The district plans to increase pay for ambulance service personnel and will soon need to replace an ambulance.

The Howard County Fire Protection District’s tax increase was also approved by voters. The base tax levy will now increase by 22 cents, from 42.62 cents to 64.62 cents per $100 of assessed valuation for property owners in Howard County except for those located inside the city limits of Fayette, Glasgow, and Armstrong. Those towns are served by municipal fire departments. The district’s base tax rate has been 30 cents per $100 of assessed valuation since 1980. The tax increase is expected to generate an additional $177,000 per year and will be used to help pay for equipment and training. The district also plans to establish a station in the Boonesboro area.

Because the taxes were passed during the primary election, both the ambulance service and fire district will begin to realize the new rates starting on January 1, 2023.

In the race for the US Senate seat being vacated by Republican incumbent Roy Blunt, Vicky Hartzler carried the GOP ticket in Howard County with 42.22 percent of the vote but came in a distant second in statewide returns. Rep. Hartzler is well known here, having served as U.S. representative for Missouri’s 4th congressional district, which includes Howard County, since 2011. Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt finished with 35.53% of the vote here but easily won the statewide race with 45.663% of the of ballots cast to Hartzler’s 22.074%. Former Gov. Eric Greitens finished third with local voters in a field of 21 candidates with 14.06% here and 18.944% overall across the state.

Mr. Schmitt will face Trudy Busch Valentine in the November general election. Mrs. Valentine won 173 of the 420 votes cast by Howard County Democrats in a field of 11 candidates. Statewide, she raked in more than 43% of votes. Lucas Kunce trailed with 157 votes here and 38.363% statewide.

In the race for U.S. representative for Missouri’s 4th congressional district, which is being vacated by GOP Rep. Hartzler, Taylor Burks led the GOP ticket with 32% of the vote over Mark Alford with 23.43%. However, Mr. Alford handily won the Republican primary across the district. He will face lone Democratic candidate Jack Truman and Libertarian Randy Langkraehr in the general election.

Overall, 2,091 ballots were cast in Howard County for a turnout of 31.22 %. Of those ballots cast, 1,642 (78.53%) were Republican, 430 (20.56%) were Democrat, with seven Libertarian Party, five Constitution Party, and seven non-partisan ballots cast. Howard County has 6,697 registered voters.

Turn to page 6 for the full Howard County results.


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