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ELECTION: Republicans will determine one race, choose candidates

Republican voters in St. Francois County will have their chance to select candidates for county offices, with one contested local Republican race in the Aug. 7 primary election.

Voters in the 115th state representative district choosing a Republican ballot will choose between incumbent Elaine Freeman Gannon, a former teacher from De Soto, and Marvin Fricke, a small business owner also of De Soto. 

Incumbent Jason Smith is the only Republican seeking the office of United States Representative for District 8. Smith is from Salem, and was first elected to the Missouri state legislature in 2005. In a 2013 special election, Smith was elected to the office of U.S. Representative of the 8th Congressional District in Missouri. He was reelected to the office in 2014.

Dale L. Wright is the sole Republican candidate for State Representative of the 116th district, the position soon to be vacated by Rep. Kevin Engler due to term limits. Wright is a Farmington native and lifelong businessman as well as former Farmington councilman.

Incumbent Mike Henderson is the sole Republican candidate for State Representative of the 117th district. Henderson is a former educator and assistant superintendent at the North County School District and was elected to the state legislature in 2016.

The Republican candidates for St. Francois County offices, all running unopposed in the primary election, include:

Jerel Lee Poor II is running for Circuit Judge (Circuit 24, Division 1). Poor is a St. Louis-born attorney who currently lives in Ste. Genevieve County.

Patrick L. King is running for Associate Circuit Judge (Division 4). A Phelps County native, King is currently an assistant prosecuting attorney in St. Francois County and has held that position for the past 19 years.

Incumbent Harold Gallaher is running for St. Francois County Presiding Commissioner. Gallaher is a businessman, engineer, former Bismarck alderman and a member of the Bismarck R-V Board of Education for 18 years.

Kevin Engler is running for County Clerk. Engler is currently the Missouri representative of the 116th District and has served in either the Missouri House of Representatives or the Missouri Senate since 2002. Engler was also previously a Farmington city councilman and mayor.

Jay Graf, a Farmington businessman, is seeking the position of St. Francois County Recorder of Deeds.

Melissa L. Gilliam is running for St. Francois County Prosecuting Attorney. A Farmington native, Gilliam earned legal experience in Colorado and St. Louis before returning to Farmington to run her own practice.

Louie Seiberlich, the current St. Francois County Auditor, is running unopposed for County Auditor.

Democrat and Republican candidates will face off in the general election on Nov. 6.

Jacob Scott is a reporter with the Daily Journal. He can be reached at 573-518-3616 or at

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