Filings for August primary begin Feb. 22nd; Monroe County presiding commissioner not seeking new term, most incumbents running, but new prosecutor mum about plans

January 24, 2022

Submitted By Denny Hollingsworth

A year from now, Monroe County will have a new presiding

commissioner as a result of an incumbent that will not seek

election this year.

Three-term presiding commissioner Mike Minor (D-Stoutsville)

has announced he will not be a candidate for re-election in 2022.

Mr. Minor, 59, defeated incumbent Donald Simpson (D-Paris) in

a 2010 primary election and has been unchallenged since. In

addition to his 12 years as presiding commissioner, he spent

22 years in the county’s Road & Bridge Department, 11 years as

its chief.

Filings for August’s 2022 primary election begin Feb. 22nd,

according to county clerk LaJenna Peterson (R-Paris), and will

close March 29.

Despite being what politicos call an off-year election – because

the president will not be on November’s general election ballot

– local Republican and Democrat voters will find they

have several political races to decide what candidates will

run for eight county offices, a congressional race and two

state-wide offices in November’s general election.

Along with the presiding commissioner office, voters will see

the clerk, circuit clerk, associate circuit court judge,

collector, treasurer, recorder and prosecuting attorney

offices all on the primary ballot.

Two term Incumbent circuit clerk Heather Wheeler (D-Monroe City),

who has worked in the office since 2003, will run again;

collector Chrissy Graupman (D-Paris), treasurer Shelia Jurgesmyer

(D-Paris) and recorder Lori Decker (R-Madison) – all three who

were elected to their first terms in 2018 – have all indicated

they will seek re-election.

Monroe County Associate Circuit Court Judge Talley Smith (R-Paris), appointed in November 2021,

to fill the unexpired term of Mike Wilson, who was unable to fill

the remaining 13 months of his term because of age limits, and

Ms.Peterson, who was appointed county clerk when Christina Buie

resigned last year, have both announced they will seek the

Republican nomination for their respective offices.

The only incumbent that has not revealed their plans for 2022

is newly appointed prosecuting attorney Kevin Bross.

Mr. Bross, 27, a 2020 graduate of the University of Missouri

law school, was appointed to the prosecuting attorney’s position

in late 2021, by circuit judge Rachel Bringer Shepard (D-Palmyra),

after now-former prosecutor Ms. Smith assumed the bench.

A graduate of Palmyra High School, Mr. Bross lives in

Marion County, which does not disqualify him from filing for

a Monroe County office; however, he must be a county resident

to be elected.

Politically, Bross says he considers himself an Independent

and not ready to reveal his future plans.

“I don’t have any comment at this time as to my future plans.

I am still trying to get my feet under me in Monroe County

and focusing on doing the job I was appointed,” the prosecutor