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A BIG DAY FOR THE GOP

by Ivan Foley and Shana Haines
Landmark staff

By the narrowest of margins, Sandy Krohne has retained her seat as Platte County Clerk. Krohne, Democrat, edged Republican challenger Lee Pedego by 120 votes.

In another highly visible county race at Tuesday's election, Republican Eric Zahnd knocked off interim prosecutor Tammy Glick (D) by more than 1,300 votes.

Voter turnout in Platte County was 48%, the same percentage it was for mid-term elections in 1998.

"I'm elated. It was closer than I would have preferred, but a win is a win. I want to thank everyone for standing behind me and all who supported me," Krohne said Tuesday night.

"There was such a Republican push this year that I couldn't have done this without my supporters," she said.

"I appreciate the people who voted for me. I will continue to get the job done for people," she added.

By law, since there was less than one percent difference in the final tally, Pedego could request a recount by going through the circuit court. The recount would be automatically granted, reports Wendy Flanigan, director for the Platte County Board of Elections.

"It would be run through an electronic recount," she said, which is the same way the ballots were counted the first time around.

Pedego late Tuesday did not indicate for certain whether he would seek the recount, but seemed to be leaning against it.

"Our county clerk race is personally disappointing as I feel the issues raised were valid and deserved to be heard. My opponent has a loyal base that couldn't be overcome. That's politics. My congratulations to Ms. Krohne on her reelection," Pedego said.

In the prosecutor's race, Zahnd claimed victory with 13,678 votes to 12,308 for Glick, who had served as interim prosecutor for the past year after being appointed by the governor to replace Todd Graves, now U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri.

"We knocked on about 9,000 doors over the course of this campaign. I enjoyed meeting 9,000 Platte Countians at their door. This is still a county where a handshake and a look in the eye mean something," said Zahnd, who is a lawyer with the Bryan Cave firm.

Zahnd has worked for the Missouri Attorney General's Office and is a special assistant prosecutor in Cass County.

"I'm gratified the voters have chosen me as their next prosecutor and will do my best to be tough against anybody who commits crimes," he added, indicating crimes against children and violent crimes will be his focus areas.

"I was cautiously optimistic the entire race. You've got to run you like you're 10 points behind. That's what we did," he explained.

Glick said she was satisfied with the way her campaign was run.

"I'm disappointed with the results. I think we ran a good campaign focusing on experience and ability. Apparently that's not what the voters were interested in. It wasn't enough," she said Wednesday morning.

"I'm proud of the work that I've done in the year that I've been here. I have no regrets," she added.

"I did everything I knew to do. I did door-to-door, I talked to people. I don't know what else I could have done."

Glick is expected to return to practicing law at her private office in Platte City.

OTHER RESULTS
Platte County voters also decided during Tuesday's election to keep two incumbent officials in office.

Platte County Presiding Commissioner Betty Knight, Republican, received 15,557 votes over her opponent, Curt Cook, Democrat, who received 10,330 votes.

"I am very gratified by the voters and everybody who worked well. I am very appreciative of my family and daughters," Knight said. "I look forward to continue serving the county."

Knight was first elected as presiding commissioner in 1994.

Since in office, Knight says she has overseen construction of a new jail, helped develop a countywide park system, helped bring stability to county finances, and is currently working on a newly developed Citizen Corp, a team of officials dedicated to emergency management in the event of a terrorism act.

Most recently, Knight and Platte County Commissioners lowered the tax levy. According to Knight, the tax rate has been lowered 44 percent since she has been in office.

Cook said he did get satisfaction from the voting results.

"I got some satisfaction out of the result that Platte City and north I got 51 percent of the vote," Cook said. "There are definitely two different interests out there."

Cook used the state of Platte County roads as his platform, saying he would eliminate gravel roads and eliminate dust control.

Cook also said if elected he would try to take the half cent park and recreation tax to the voters and let them decide the fate of the money.

In the circuit court clerk race, incumbent Sandra Dowd (D) received 13,594 votes. Dowd's opponent, Linda Darby, received 11,906 votes.

"I am elated. I can't say thank you enough, Dowd said. "I will continue to work hard at the job that I have been elected to do."

Dowd has been Platte County Circuit Court Clerk for 12 years. Dowd has a total of 25 years of experience in the circuit court system. She served as deputy clerk for five years, and chief deputy clerk for eight years.

Darby's attempt at the circuit clerk seat was her second try.

"We worked hard. I want to thank everyone, Darby said. "You never know how things will turn out, but we gave it a good try.

Darby said she was unsure if she would run for political offices in the future. Darby said she may focus on furthering her education.

TOURISM TAX
Platte County's 1/4 cent sales tax for tourism was passed by voters by a margin of 14,750 to 10,917

The tax will be assessed on hotel and motel rooms. Money raised will go to funding the county's convention and visitors' bureau.