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Hannibal Courier - Post - Hannibal, MO
  • Welch wins close race for Eastern District commissioner

  • The Marion County Eastern District commissioner’s race must have been one of the closest in the area.
    Larry Welch, a Hannibal Republican, defeated incumbent Commissioner Bobby Heiser, a Hannibal Democrat, by a vote of 2774 to 2699.
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  • The Marion County Eastern District commissioner’s race must have been one of the closest in the area.
    Larry Welch, a Hannibal Republican, defeated incumbent Commissioner Bobby Heiser, a Hannibal Democrat, by a vote of 2774 to 2699.
    Welch received 50.65 percent to Heiser’s 49.28 percent. Marion County officials reported this race also had four not qualified write-ins, for 0.7 percent of the vote.
    This was Welch’s first bid for public office. He has owned and operated American Glass since 1986.
    Calling the election a nail-biter, after the votes were totaled, Welch expressed gratitude to his “supporters and friends and everyone that has helped me through this,” adding “I’ve had a lot of good supporters, and I intend to do a good job for all of them.”
    Welch is eager to “attend some of the meetings” of the Marion County Commission to learn more before discussing his priorities for the county.
    “I know we have to figure ways to save some money,” he said. “There are so many departments in the county that need attention.”
    He does know he will work to improve the jail, Welch said. “The jail is one of the things I’ve seen that definitely needs some attention. They need a lot done for them.”
    But this is not the only area of his concern, he added. “I’m going to work hard for all of them.”
    As he celebrated his successful election campaign, Welch said “I’d like to thank everybody that supported me. We’ve been working hard since the Fourth of July parade. I’d especially like to thank my campaign manager, who is my son, Casey Welch, and my wife, Detsyl, and the rest of my family,”
    Despite narrowly losing his bid for re-election, Heiser said that by receiving ”almost half of the votes, you know you haven’t done too bad a job.”
    He thanked “all the people that did support me.”
    Heiser added that the four years he has served were “a tough four years, and I thought we did a good job. ... We have eliminated so much waste in the county government. We streamlined everything.
    “We reduced expenses,” Heiser continued. “We reduced workers, but we have not laid anybody off. Everything is more manageable, and we have a reserve now for emergencies.”
    Concluding that “it’s been a successful four years, especially in these times,” Heiser said, “I’ve had a good four years, and I’ve certainly enjoyed it.”
    Page 2 of 2 - He will continue to be busy, he added, with his jewelry business and his community involvement. “I still will work in the community. I will help the Lions Club and YMCA Men’s club.”

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