Pick a Sheriff, Any Sheriff! 11 Candidates Running in Butler Co. - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Poplar Bluff -- Heather Flanigan Reports

Pick a Sheriff, Any Sheriff! 11 Candidates Running in Butler Co.

August 2, 2004 -- Posted at 5:21 p.m. CDT

POPLAR BLUFF -- Missouri residents are getting ready to make some big decisions tomorrow...it's the August primary election.  And while most races consist typically of two candidates, that can't be said for the Butler County Sheriff's race... not by a long shot.

You can defiantly tell it's election time in Missouri. One of the closest watches races in the primary is for the Butler County Sheriff's Office.

Butler County Clerk John Dunivan said, "We have five Republican candidates and the incumbent is included in that and we have six Democratic challengers and that is really unusual. Normally we might have one or two of the opposites party running against the incumbent. But everybody wants to be sheriff."

Incumbent Bill Heaton faces challengers on both sides of the ticket. Also running on the Republican ballot are Doug "Hawkwatcher" Pope, Joe Sliger, Sam D. Gilmore and Mark Dobbs.  On the Democratic ballot Michael O. Holden, Tony Fincher, George Prince, Charles Robards, Fred J. Armes and Richard Kneibert oppose Heaton.

"One of the things that may have generated a lot of interest in it is there were some charges that were filed against our incumbent, but they've all been dismissed," said Dunivan.

Sheriff Heaton faced a felony charge and two misdemeanor charges after an alleged incident involving an inmate's injury.

There are about 6,000 expected voters for Tuesday's primary, and with 11 candidates for Sheriff, those votes are going to be split, making this election anybody's game.

Dunivan said, "Butler County is noted for close elections or tight elections and that creates more problems."

And the more candidates make more work for the County Clerk's office.

"We have a lot more volunteers, we have maybe more people voting absentee, and we have tons and tons of more yard signs," laughed Dunivan.

Something we'll be seeing more of until November.  Stay with K8 news Tuesday for continued coverage on Missouri election results.

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