Republicans assume control of five Callaway County offices

With the start of the new year on Saturday, five new Republicans and three unopposed Democrats will take office in Callaway County.

Previously, Callaway County Western District Commissioner Doc Kritzer was the only Republican elected county official with offices in the courthouse.

In the Nov. 2 general election, Republicans swept all five contested Callaway County offices, including Gary Jungermann as presiding commissioner, Christopher Wilson as prosecuting attorney, Judy Groner as circuit clerk, Christine Kleindienst as recorder and Denise Hubbard as county clerk.

Three incumbent Democrats were re-elected in November without opposition. They were Associate Circuit Judge Carol England, Pam Oestreich and Auditor Rosemary Gannaway.

Three of the five Democrats who left office did so voluntarily, either by retirement or seeking another office. Prosecutor Bob Sterner was elected as associate circuit judge.

The five Democrats who left office have a total of 84 years of experience as elected county officials. Kenneth Dillon, who retired, had 16 years as recorder. Linda Love, who retired, had 24 years as county clerk. Bob Sterner, who was elected as associate circuit judge, had 20 years of experience as prosecutor before deciding not to seek re-election.

Lee Fritz, who was defeated as presiding commissioner, had 16 years of experience. Curtis Quick, who was defeated as circuit clerk, had eight years of experience.

Four Democratic Callaway County officials were not up for re-election in the Nov. 2 general election. They are Sheriff Dennis Crane, Treasurer Marsha Chism, Assessor Dan Roe, and Eastern District Commissioner Gabe Craighead, who has two years remaining on his term as commissioner. Craighead was defeated in November in his bid to become county recorder.

Because the new year starts on Saturday and most county offices will be closed on Friday, county officials scrambled Thursday to be sworn into office.

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