It was an easy ride to victory for the Republican candidates for the associate commission seats in Camden County.
Voters turned out in force to re-elect incumbent Associate Commissioner Beverly Thomas and Cliff Luber, a first time candidate for the office. Thomas and Luber carried all 24 precincts in Camden County, handily defeating their opponents.
Thomas will retain the office she has held for two terms. Luber will take his seat on the commission on Jan. 1, 2013.
Thomas faced off against Independent candidate Tom Pedrola. Thomas captured nearly 75 percent of the vote compared to to Pedrola's 25. Luber beat out write-in candidate Eddie Emery with 88.37 percent of the vote. Write-in ballots accounted for 11.63 percent of the ballots cast in that race.
Luber unseated longtime commissioner Thom Gumm in the August primary.
"I hope the voters believe that I care about this job, and work very hard to do the right thing for the right reasons. I always try to have our resident’s best interests in mind and treat everyone with respect," Thomas said. "I am always willing to discuss any problem with the residents and hope they feel free to contact me any time."
Thomas said her first priority when she begins her next four-year term in office in January will be to welcome Cliff Luber, the new 2nd District Commissioner and help him become familiar with the office.
"There is a significant learning curve with the commission and I hope my experience will make the job a little easier," she said. "The Commission office is the only County office that has three elected officials. Therefore, whenever one changes, you have changed the dynamic of the office. And of course, each new commissioner comes in with some pre-conceived ideas of what the job entails. New ideas are always welcome and encouraged and do lead to changes.
After spending months campaigning, Thomas said her belief that with a few exceptions, the voters of Camden County are nice, polite, kind people who are truly interested in the well-being of the county and country.
"When you go out and knock on their doors and meet them face to face it is rewarding to remember what a great place we live in," she said.
Luber said he is looking forward to spending the next two months getting ready to take office.
" I am very grateful and humbled by. once again winning, with such a considerable margin. I believe the folks in Camden County want real change and accountability from their local government. It is my hope to restore 'We The People' to Camden County government," Luber said.
Luber said he is anxious to begin the task of being fiscally responsible, begin to rebuild county roads, and to work to bring light industry and non-seasonal jobs to the county.
"I want to build an open form of communication with the citizens, and to work on the important issues together of making the Lake of the Ozarks and Camden County the best that it can be," he said.
Luber overcame a smear campaign in his August primary race to beat out four fellow Republicans.
Emery ran in the August primary as a Republican candidate for sheriff. Shortly after losing that race, he stepped forward as a write-in candidate.
In Morgan County, Rodney Schad, a termed-out state representative, was handily elected to the commission seat for the eastern district while Wayne Kroeschen was again elected to serve as commissioner for the western district. Kroeschen had no opponent while Schad won 66.4% of the vote over democratic rival James Vaughan.