Travis Fulton

Travis Fulton

I am a lifelong Dent County resident and business owner for over 27 years. My wife, Barbie, has also been a lifelong Dent County resident and is a family nurse practitioner for the Dent Medical Clinic. We have five children. Travis age 16, Addison, Jessie and Taylor ages 12 and Olivia age 9. We attend New Harmony Church.

I have been a general contractor here in the Salem area for many years, I am a free mason and a member of the American Legion.

My wife and I are very active in many facets of life with our children including sports, farming and raising our children in a Christian lifestyle. We put all our faith in our creator and savior Jesus Christ.

I love our community and hope to retire here one day.

Why should you be elected?

I am the most qualified candidate on the ballot. I have new ideas and I know how to get things done. With my background in construction for over 27 years, I have the knowledge and can take care of the leadership necessary for the task(s) at hand in reconstruction of our county's infrastructure. I have new ideas for our secondary roads to help cut costs and extend road life. I will always keep close tabs on past and present projects. Along with all of this, I will work to heal relationships with our taxpayers. This will not be a part time gig for me, but plan on being your full-time commissioner.

What would you do to improve or change the position of commissioner, or duties of the office, that would result in savings or benefits to the taxpayers?

I would definitely look at abandoned roads and purchase better quality materials that will last longer to reduce the maintenance and look into more government funds to reduce out of pocket costs. I plan to do things right the first time and hold people accountable. As I have previously stated, I will keep my eyes on projects, both current and past and will always be actively involved. Projects without adequate leadership are costly due to mistakes or poor workmanship and because this office will be my full-time job and not a part time gig, there will be no more short-term fixes.

What major financial decisions are on the horizon for the county, and how would you prioritize and pay for those?

A glimpse into the future would be a nice ability to have, but seeing as that isn't going to happen, one must always try to foresee every possible outcome by asking questions and being the best prepared for every possible outcome. Questions like: what the debt service really is?, what did the jail really cost?, do we have money for operations?, does our jail comply with current standards?, is our facility safe and can we protect ourselves from lawsuits at the jail?, and where is the money going to come from to operate the jail? I feel that our new justice center is going to be a major concern with operation/overhead costs, employees and the like. Bringing things into the light by asking the hard questions is step number one. I would reach out to experts for answers and communicate with other towns to see what they have done and learn from their experiences. I would hope that with a strong set of commissioners, that we could come up with a plan to keep it alive without more burdens to our community. Unforeseen problems or burying our heads in the sand could be a big pill to swallow if we don't try to see what's on the horizon.


Gary Larson

Gary Larson

I have been married to Shirley Larson for 45 years. We have two children, Cindy Cabaness and husband Chris and Kim Lansing and husband Jason. We have four grandchildren; Maddie, Kelsey, Nick and Brayden. I have grown up in Dent County, attended R-IV school and then Salem junior and senior high schools. After graduating in 1973, I attended Linn Technical College and earned a degree in Auto Body in 1975.

I opened Larson Collision Center in 1987 and have successfully operated it for 33 years.

In the past I have served as president of the Dent County Fall Festival Board and now serve on the Healthy Dent County Board, Extension Council, Ozark Rivers Solid Waste Management Board and The South Central County Commission Association for several years. I am also a member of Oak Grove Baptist Church.

My hobbies are enjoying my grandchildren, camping and restoring old cars. I also enjoy working on our property.

Why should you be elected?

I believe the years I have served as District 2 Commissioner would be beneficial for Dent County to utilize the experience and knowledge I have acquired since serving in this position. Serving as commissioner, you are responsible for the county’s financial stability to maintain a positive balance. Since I have been in office, the county has maintained and increased in a positive financial position. Also, I would continue working for economic development for our county to reclaim jobs needed for the county. I have attended meetings looking to bring broadband into our county and will continue to work on this issue and do whatever I can to assist in this matter. I am a strong advocate for protecting our private property rights, preserving our 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms, and a proud supporter of our local law enforcement. I also believe you should be of good character. I believe that I have what is needed to fulfill this office.

What would you do to improve or change the position of commissioner, or duties of the office, that would result in savings or benefits to the taxpayers?

Because we are bound by state statutes, we are limited to what we can change in the position of commissioner. However, we can and do monitor the spending of money for road and bridge department, including requiring bids for purchasing equipment and materials needed such as grader blades and culverts.

We could improve this position by going after grants that could be used on projects that otherwise would not have money available that do not restrict or put ties on the county.

As commissioner you should be able to manage and get the best work force that you can to benefit the county. I think all county employees should be held accountable as well as commissioners in their position. I would like to explore the idea of having working supervisors out in the district working, instead of two sitting supervisors in the office, and also hire an office person to answer the phone and do paperwork. Doing this would eliminate one full time position with the main objective to be thrifty with county money, time, and management.

What major financial decisions are on the horizon for the county, and how would you prioritize and pay for those?

Some of the major financial decisions that may need to be addressed are:

• Repairs to our historical courthouse. These repairs could consist of additional restrooms, windows that are in need of replacement and wood trim on outside of the building. These expenses would come out of Capitol Expense.

• Low water crossings and bridges. We have had an engineer to inspect the bridges and have identified the ones that need repairing. We budget for repairs every year and have already repaired some; however due to budget restrictions we can only do a limited number a year.

• Courtroom and administration office for sheriff and staff. This could be paid for from existing funds. 


Jim Martin

Jim Martin

I was born in Salem and raised on a small farm near Boss. Got my first eight years of education from a one-room schoolhouse, went to three different high schools, and never did move from where I was raised. I graduated from Viburnum. I started working for the public when I was 15 years old, pumping gas, fixing flats. A lot of us can still remember the full-service gas stations.

When I was 18, I had to go to work. I have worked at many things, on Diamond Drills, in lead mines, where I had to operate a lot of different kinds of equipment. Then, I went to work in construction. I operated a backhoe, a dozer, a road grader and an excavator. I was also federally certified on cranes. I was a boss several times and a supervisor on a hazmat job.

Why should you be elected?

Not because I want to be, but because I think I am the right person for the job and I think we need a change. I know you hear this all the time in politics, so let the voters be the judge.

What would you do to improve or change the position of commissioner, or duties of the office, that would result in savings or benefits to the taxpayers?

I won’t even try to answer the first part of this question because I don’t know enough about it.

As for asking the taxpayer for more money, I will be the last to do that. I think we have been taxed to death.

What major financial decisions are on the horizon for the county, and how would you prioritize and pay for those?

I don’t know what is on the horizon, but I am sure it is a lot. I would work with the other commissioners and hope that we could come together on all of it.

As for prioritizing them, I would put them in order to best serve the public.


Kourt Gustav Tiefenthaler 

Kourt Gustav Tiefenthaler

I was raised in Dent County for as long as I can remember. I am also the Dist. 16 State Committee Delegate for the Missouri Libertarian Party, as well as the former Local Chair of the Unofficial Libertarian affiliation for Dent. I founded the Dent County Liberty Committee while I was a junior in high school in summer of 2018 and dissolved it in 2019 to focus on school. Now I am out of school, and can focus on fixing this county. I worked at Royal Oak Charcoal Plant for three months on night shifts, I've done the hard work, and it's time to put the working man in office. I am a firm supporter of the Second Amendment and if elected I would push for the other commissioners to sign Dent County off as a sanctuary for firearms. I first came out as bisexual in 2016 during the presidential race when I was a Republican. I switched because I received too much homophobia from the GOP, such as what the Republican commissioners pulled in 2015 when they set the flag at half-staff in response to marriage equality. Another thing about me is that I am also concerned about Dent County's ever-rising $13 million debt. We need to fix it, and we need to drain the swamp in our county. 

Why should you be elected?

I believe we need more working Americans in office now a days. I'm the best place for a protest vote, if we want our country to thrive, we can't just keep electing the same old parties with the same old solutions that just make more problems to fix. We need to break free from Big Government. Now yes I am a Libertarian and therefore my stance on the public paying for the roads through taxes isn't really my favorite idea. I do believe that when the government is in charge it should do its job, and we are just not seeing that with the roads. I want to fix our debt, and I want to fix our roads. I would also be the first openly bisexual male elected to the Dent County Commission. Come on Dent County, Let's make history. Don't Tread on Anyone.

What would you do to improve or change the position of commissioner, or duties of the office, that would result in savings or benefits to the taxpayers?

To improve the county commissioners’ office, I would have to say they need less power. When government gets ahold of something and has power over it, they screw it up. Look at the way the two major parties have handled the pandemic. The government has reacted with intrusiveness ways that infringed on business and religious rights. I think we need to make Dent County a safe haven for firearms regardless of what state and/or federal law say. Let's stick it to the man. I want to cut taxes for the county. Government spends insanely and it taxes too much, hence our $13 million debt.

What major financial decisions are on the horizon for the county, and how would you prioritize and pay for those?

So, some might ask how we are going to both cut taxes and fix our debt. It can be done. We cut wasteful spending, we improve our roads we need, and trust me our roads need work. We need to make sure our roads are safe for every Dent County resident, we are citizens who deserve that much. If elected I would use tactics that doesn't involve taxation or increasing taxes to pay off our debt.


Jimmy Williams

Jimmy Williams

I am a lifelong resident of Dent County. My father, Marley Williams, retired from the US Army shortly after my birth and returned our family to where he was raised near Montauk. I am a graduate of Salem High School and proudly worked at Craig Distributing for 11 years before working as a salesman for Ed and Carol Carmack at C&E Auto Sales for the past 23 years. My brother is Ralph Williams, owner of Williams Real Property, LLC. You may have seen his real estate signs in the area. Family is very important to me. My wife, Denita, and I have been married for 31 years and I am most proud of our children, Amanda and Nate. Along with my employment, I have raised cattle, renovated homes, managed my own rental property and bought and sold many vehicles locally.

Why should you be elected?

I should be elected because there is an opportunity here in Dent County to make a difference, and I would like the chance to do that for my community. I will dedicate all of my energy to this job for the citizens of my district and Dent County, full time. The people of our county deserve a commissioner who is looking out for the best interest of the county and putting the people first, and I am that person.

What would you do to improve or change the position of commissioner, or duties of the office, that would result in savings or benefits to the taxpayers?

County commissioners have an important job. Many decisions are made concerning the assets of the county. These assets are valuable to the citizens of the county who provide funding through taxes to maintain, improve and manage the property of the people. Again, I will dedicate full time effort using my experiences to cost effectively manage with complete transparency and straight forward communication. My goal is to openly account for all expenditures or decisions made because I work for the people of the county.

What major financial decisions are on the horizon for the county, and how would you prioritize and pay for those?

Change is constant. Remaining informed is imperative to manage things in a proactive manner. I don’t like surprises and will work diligently to be in front of issues before they happen. Our biggest challenge today is the unknown. Being prepared for unexpected large expenditures, local disasters, or breakdowns can help bridge the gap effectively with less total expense or downtime. Full time oversight will help me to be better prepared and more knowledgeable about the issues at hand. Allowing for decisions to be for the betterment of the people of Dent County.