The Buzz

Nolte to challenge Mason for presiding commissioner in Clay County

Former eight-year Missouri state Rep. Jerry Nolte this week announced that he’s a candidate for the Republican nomination for Clay County presiding commissioner.

The incumbent, Pam Mason, also has filed for the GOP nomination, setting up an August primary. Mason is wrapping up her first four-year term in the job.

Asked why he was challenging Mason, Nolte said only that he thought he could do a better job.

“I don’t want to come out of the gate in a negative fashion,” he said.

Nolte ran for the job in 2002 and won the GOP nomination, but lost in the general election. Mason won her race for presiding commissioner in 2010 in a bitter race against Democrat Ed Quick, who wound up suing Mason for libel and defamation.

In a media statement, Nolte said he wants to focus on managing the county’s growth and sharpen the county’s focus on delivering basic services.

“In 2014, we must change direction choosing economic opportunity and job growth, not continue the divisive politics of the past,” Nolte said.

Nolte said as a state representative, he helped pass the Manufacturing Jobs Act, which helped bring Ford around to investing $1.1 billion in its Claycomo plant.