Two announce candidacy for Pettis County seats

By Emily Jarrett

February 14, 2014

Two people announced their candidacy for open Pettis County positions on Friday.

Current Stoddard County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Andrew Rehmer will make his second attempt at becoming Pettis County Prosecutor. Rehmer previously ran against incumbent Jeff Mittelhauser in 2010 and said his loss at the time was due in part to his lack of experience.

“I was just out of law school at the time but I’ve come back having been an assistant prosecuting attorney. We’ve handled 6,500 cases so far, everything from speeding tickets to capital murder charges,” Rehmer said. “Pettis County is where I call home and it’s given a lot to me. I can’t sit idly by as the streets are over run with drug dealers.”

Rehmer said if elected his intends to make Pettis County “a place where drug dealers stop at the (county) borders because they know we won’t stand for that here.”

Other priorities for the republican candidate include furthering victim rights and making sure charges are brought against suspects within 24-hour hold time frames.

“There is no excuse for charges not to be filed on a crime within 24 hours,” he said in an interview with media later. “About a year ago we had a big problem with the (Rudy) Perez case where he was released on assault charges because the prosecutor did not file charges. He was re-arrested after assaulting law enforcement and later taken to Columbia when he killed a man. We cannot let that happen again, I can’t understand why that happened.”

Mittelhauser is stepping down after 28 years in the prosecutor’s office to run for the open Division 6 Associated Judge seat, being vacated by Robert Liston. Local attorney Kimberly Tanner announced last month she too would be running for the prosecutor’s seat.

Friday also saw Beverly Dillon announce her intention to run as Pettis County Auditor, after incumbent Connie Purchase decided not to run.

Citing her 25 years of experience in accounting and work with the Pettis County Soil and Water District, Dillon said she felt she could bring the necessary skills to the auditor’s office.

“I decided to run because I felt I was ready for a change,” she told the Democrat. “I feel like it’s time to give back to Pettis County.”

Dillon did not have any major changes in mind for the auditor’s office, noting “it’s been running smoothly for years and I’d like to help continue that.”

Filing for state and county offices opens Feb. 25.