by Benjamin C. Nelson

​On the 2018 November Election ballot, Macon County Voters will vote in two competitive county races; Macon County Associate Circuit Judge and Macon County Presiding Commissioner. We reached about to candidates for both races and asked them to provide a brief bio and explanation on what experience they have for the position.

For Macon County Associate Circuit Judge, Macon County voters will choose between Incumbent Republican Judge Philip Prewitt and Independent Attorney, Kristen Burks. For Macon County Presiding Commissioner, Macon County voters will choose between Incumbent Republican Alan Wyatt and Independent Cheryl Fullerton.

Judge Prewitt’s response is as follows:

“Judge Philip Prewitt was born and raised in Moberly, Missouri. He is the son of Bud and Shirley Prewitt. Judge Prewitt graduated from Washington University in St. Louis in 1989 and from the law school in 1992. At graduation he was also commissioned a second lieutenant in the US Army Reserves, serving as an armor officer, an artillery officer, a transportation officer and a JAG. He was also a lawyer in private practice from 1993 to 2010. In 2008, Judge Prewitt was appointed by Governor Blunt as a Commissioner on the Missouri Veteran's Commission. He continued to be a full-time attorney in Macon while serving as a Commissioner. In November 2010, Judge Prewitt was elected to be Macon County's Associate Circuit Judge. He was re-elected in 2014. He is on the ballot November 6th for re-election again. Besides being a judge, over the years, Judge Prewitt has been active in the Macon County Community in a variety of ways, including as a volunteer coach for the YMCA, Macon Baseball Association, Macon Youth Football, and Macon Youth Wrestling. He has also been an active member at various times of the Macon Masonic Lodge, the Callao American Legion, Rotary Club, Kiwanis Club, Macon United Methodist Church, and Community Child Development Center. Judge Prewitt is the most qualified because he has been doing the job since January 1, 2011, and he has been doing a very good job. According to statistics kept by the State of Missouri, as of October 17th he has brought to conclusion over 6,400 cases in the seven years since becoming a judge. That is over 1,000 more cases than any other Circuit or Associate Circuit Judge in our Circuit. Brought to conclusion means he has either reviewed and dismissed them, approved a settlement in them by entering a written judgment, or taken evidence at a trial and then entered a written judgment. As of July 31st, 515 of those cases were brought to conclusion by trial. Judge Prewitt has never had a decision of his reversed by the Court of Appeals in his seven years as a judge. The statistics kept by the State of Missouri also show that as of October 17th, 97.2% of the cases brought to conclusion by Judge Prewitt have been disposed of within the time standards set by the Missouri Supreme Court. That is a better percentage than any other Circuit or Associate Circuit Judge in our Circuit. Judge Prewitt has published a link on his campaign Facebook Page so anyone can look at and see for yourself what he is doing at his weekly dockets with the cases assigned to him. You can look at almost every docket since he became a judge and see each case on the docket, the various types of cases he handles, which attorneys are in those cases, and what happens in them. What you will see when you look at those dockets and apply the statistics provided by the State of Missouri is that Judge Prewitt is the most qualified and experienced person for the position of Associate Circuit Judge. No one can honestly say otherwise.”

Attorney Kristen Burks’ response is as follows:

“I live in Macon with my husband, Matt, and children, Sofia, Joe and Stella. I grew up in St. Joseph, Missouri, and after high school attended the University of Missouri-Columbia, graduating in 1996. That same year I married Matt and moved to Kansas City to attend the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law. In law school I worked as a research assistant and interned at the Missouri Public Defender’s Office in Kansas City. After graduating in 1999, I passed the bar exam, received my law license and began work as an attorney at Legal Aid of Western Missouri, and then at the Jackson County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, with a focus on assisting survivors of domestic violence and child abuse. In 2007, our family moved to Macon, and I worked as an associate at Briggs & Reuschel, LLC, before opening Meisner & Burks, LLC with my law partner in 2010. Since 2011, I have served as the assistant prosecuting attorney for Macon County, and have been the Macon County Juvenile Office attorney since 2014. I have been a member of the Macon Rotary Club since 2011, and am a past Club President and current Board of Directors member. I am currently a member of the Macon Public Library Board and am the current president of the Macon County Economic Development Board. For many years I have been involved in children’s ministry as a volunteer and Sunday school teacher. I have also volunteered as a youth sports coach with the Long Branch YMCA for soccer, basketball and volleyball. Weekends and evenings with my family are often spent at local sporting events, hunting or fishing. Practicing law over the last two decades, I have worked in courtrooms on hundreds of cases, both civil and criminal. I have prosecuted criminal cases in jury trials, bench trials and represented clients in complex civil matters. Over the last twenty years, I have gained the experience and knowledge necessary to serve as the Associate Circuit Judge. I have a clean ethical record with the Missouri Supreme Court, and have never been reprimanded for my conduct, nor am I currently under investigation for misconduct. I work hard to meet the legal needs of our community, and I appreciate the way the community has supported my private practice, and entrusted me with the responsibilities of the Prosecuting Attorney’s office and Juvenile Office. As an independent candidate, I am humbled by the support I have from my colleagues and citizens across the political spectrum who see the value of an independent judiciary. Beyond that, I love this community and intend to serve the people of Macon County with integrity, a strong work ethic and a commitment to a faithful interpretation of the law and Constitution.”

Alan Wyatt’s response is as follows:

“I am Alan Wyatt. I was born in Macon and have lived most of my life in Macon County. The years that I lived outside of Macon County was due to my dad Robert Wyatt teaching outside the county before becoming the High School principal in Macon. I graduated from Macon County R-IV. I attended Northeast Missouri State. Have been married to Jill for 41 years and we have two adult daughters. I have been involved in our communities as a farmer and a volunteer for several causes. I am involved in the Macon County Cattlemen’s and have served on the boards for the Bevier School ,Chariton Valley Telephone and served as volunteer fireman for College Mound. As a farmer I know the importance of our roads and bridge infrastructure. Making sure that people, crops and services have safe and reliable roads and bridges is an important job of the commission. I have lived in a rural area my entire life and I know that weather can have a major impact on our roads, it is important to have someone that knows and understands the importance of our roads and bridges and is familiar with how to keep them maintained within our budget. Developing a good budget is another important job of the commission. As a farmer and board member of the Bevier School, Chariton Valley Telephone along with working on the county commission has given me the experience needed to balance expenses against revenues and the ability to prioritize spending while maintaining a good fund balances. My commonsense approach to problem solving and my overall experience makes me the most qualified candidate for Presiding Commissioner of Macon County.”

Cheryl Fullerton’s response is as follows:

“My name is Cheryl Fullerton and I am running for Presiding Commissioner of Macon County. I was born and raised on a small dairy, grain and cattle farm outside of Palmyra, MO. My three siblings and I were taught to understand good, solid ethics and work habits from our parents. My family was raised with Conservative values and those values continue to remain strong still today. My family and I were all members of the Palmyra United Methodist Church and I have maintained those Christian beliefs throughout my life. My husband, Bob, and I live on 10 acres East of Excello, MO and have resided there for 14 years. I have two sons that live out of the area. My oldest son, Casey, lives in Ithaca NY with his wife and young son. My youngest son, Jesse, lives in Savannah MO with his wife and 3 daughters. My hobbies include sewing, quilting, rug hooking and spending time with our grandchildren. We moved to Macon in 1997 soon after I was selected to be the County Executive Director for USDA, Farm Service Agency. I maintained that position until my retirement. My community involvement includes being a past member of the MU Extension Council, a past Director of the Maples Repertory Theater Board, and a member of the Macon Kiwanis Club where I have been a member for 14 years and still remain active. I have also volunteered to help various other committees with their community activities. After retiring from USDA I now have a desire to return to public service. My experience includes hiring and supervising employees, managing large budgets and administering farm programs as written by Congress, including emergency and disaster programs. These leadership abilities qualify me to be your next Presiding Commissioner. If elected, I will listen and timely respond to all concerns of Macon County residents. I would appreciate your vote on November 6. THANK YOU.”

Please get out and vote on November 6th!