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Two Already Seeking Presiding Commissioner



Filing has opened for Aug. 2 primary elections in Ste. Genevieve County.

The first day of filing, Feb. 22, saw two candidates file for presiding commissioner.

Garry Nelson, who has been presiding commissioner since 2011 and a county commissioner since January 2005, opted not to seek another term. 

There will definitely be contested races on the November ballot. Second District Commissioner Randy Ruzicka has filed as a Republican, while David Bova, community development administrator for the city of Ste. Genevieve, has filed as a Democrat.

Ruzicka, served two terms as a Ward 4 alderman in Ste. Genevieve, where he earned a reputation as a fiscal conservative. He defeated Don Kuehn  to win the 2020 Republican primary for the Second District seat. He then beat Democratic nominee Tony Ritter, 2,413 to 2,085 in the general election.

Bova has served as community development administrator, which oversees enforcement of municipal codes and historic preservation ordinances, since June 2018. He is also president of the Ste. Genevieve R-II School Board and has served as president of the Ste. Genevieve County Democratic Club.

Nelson was named presiding commissioner in July 2011 by Governor Jay Nixon, following the sudden death on May 8 of Presiding Commissioner Dave Gegg.  Nelson, who had served two terms as First District commissioner, was then elected to his own terms in 2014 and 2018. 

Nelson, who will be 73 in July, had said since his last reelection that he would not seek another term in 2022.

Filings also opened for other county offices.

At least one other November face-off will take place. Democrat Annette Roth and Republican Mary Jane Fallert White have both filed for recorder of deeds.

Current Recorder Peggy Yamnitz had not filed as of Monday morning.

On the Democratic side, incumbents Sue Wolk (county clerk), Wayne Williams (prosecuting attorney), Timothy Inman (associate circuit judge), Sara Hoog (treasurer) and Julie Bova (circuit clerk) all filed.

Additionally, Kim Resinger Gielow filed as a Republican for collector, a position now held by fellow Republican Claudia Stuppy.


Filings had ended in late December for municipal and school board elections, which will be April 5 – along with a $20 million bond issue for the Ste. Genevieve R-II School District.

In Ste. Genevieve, Ward 1 Alderman Gary Smith did not file for reelection. His R-II Schools colleague Kristi Cleghorn was the only candidate to file for the seat.

Ward 2 Alderman Bob Donovan,  Jeff Eydmann (Ward 3) and Joe Prince (Ward 4) all filed for another two-year term and will all run unopposed.

In St. Mary, all the incumbents filed – Mayor Carl Wyatt, Ward 1’s Ron Barnett and Annette Hacker in Ward 2.

The same is true in Bloomsdale, where incumbents John Schweigert in Ward 1 and Chris “Sappy” Basler in Ward 2 will run unopposed.

Thanks to propositions passed by the two small incorporated cities last year, neither will have to hold an expensive municipal election, with no races being contested. 

Things are definitely being contested for R-II School Board seats, though. Longtime members Terry McDaniel and Richard Rudloff opted not to run for reelection.

Six candidates are pursuing a pair of openings, including two had run previously.

Jamie Ballew and Larry Pfaff, Jr., both ran last year. Bova, current R-II board president, received 617 votes, and Geralyn Diesel 547 votes, to. Ballew’s 465 votes and Pfaff’s 403. 

Joining them are Joshua Gettinger, Samuel Barbagallo and Brad Arnold.