Filing closes for April election


Three Sedalia City Council wards to see contested races

By Nicole Cooke - [email protected]



Three Sedalia City Council wards to see contested races

By Nicole Cooke

[email protected]

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Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect new information regarding candidates for the State Fair Community College Board of Trustees and the City of Green Ridge.

Filing ended at 5 p.m. Tuesday for the April 5 municipal election in Pettis County, and three of the four Sedalia City Council wards will see contested elections this year.

One council person in each ward is up for re-election this year and challengers have stepped up to the plate, causing a much more interesting council race than in 2015, which saw only one contested ward race.

Ward 1 Councilman Jim Cunningham has already announced he is not running for re-election this year after one term, leaving his seat completely open. Chuck Leftwich and Jeff Leeman have both filed for that seat.

In the only race with just one candidate, Ward 2 Councilwoman Bonita Nash has secured herself another term, after being appointed to fill the seat of late Councilwoman Wanda Monsees in 2014 and winning a one-year term in 2015.

Ward 3 and Ward 4 incumbents will face challengers in April. Ward 3 Councilman Don Meier has competition in W.T. (Tom) Cunningham for his position. Both Leeman and Cunningham attended council’s January strategic goal-setting work session.

John Fritz has challenged Councilman Tollie Rowe for his Ward 4 seat, adding his name to the list on the last day of filing.

Citizens may remember Fritz as an almost-candidate for mayor in 2014, an election won by Mayor Stephen Galliher, but he dropped out of the race only a week after filing ended due to unpaid personal property taxes. He owed $238, which he paid once he was informed by Sedalia City Clerk Arlene Silvey, but because it was after the filing deadline he was disqualified to appear on the ballot. He also served on the Bothwell Regional Health Center Board of Trustees from 2011 to 2015.

For municipal court judge, Judge Deborah Mitchell will be the only candidate on the ballot.

While the City of Sedalia will see three races, the Sedalia School District 200 will once again not have an election, as only incumbents David Wolf and Diana Nichols have filed for their Board of Education seats. 2015 was the first time in years the district saw a contested race, but that will not be the case in 2016.

The State Fair Community College Board of Trustees has four candidates for two seats. Board President Gary Noland has chosen not to run for re-election. Incumbent Randall Eaton, of Benton County, has filed, as have three newcomers: Pettis County Clerk Nick La Strada, Justin Hubbs, assistant manager of Kohl’s in Sedalia, and Marlin Hammond, of Lincoln.

Pettis County R-XII (Dresden) Board of Education will have to appoint a new member, as only one person filed for two open seats. Joy Guymon is the only candidate, and while she is new this year, she has previously served on the board.

The La Monte School District Board of Education has two three-year terms open, but there will not be a contested election. Incumbent Jack Shull and newcomer Jennie Nielsen have filed; current board member Steve Harvey has not filed for re-election. La Monte also has a one-year term open to fill the term of Steve Lazenby, and it will be filled by Leah Mahin.

The City of La Monte, however, will see an election. Incumbent David Wessel is the only candidate for Ward 2 alderman and Ronnie McNeive is the only candidate for mayor — current mayor Paul Wilbern is not running for re-election — but three have filed for Ward 1 alderman: incumbent Fred Armstrong, Shawn Bedell and Paul Daves Sr.

The Pettis County Ambulance District has two open seats and four candidates: incumbent Dave Clippert and newcomer Tim Padgett for Subdistrict 1 and incumbent Les Harrell and newcomer Bill Griffith for Subdistrict 4.

The City of Smithton has two alderman seats open. West alderman will see a race between two newcomers, John Hollomon and Jeremy Roberts. Incumbent Edward L. Saltsgaver is the only candidate for east alderman. Mayor Damian Lemens has also secured himself another term, as no one filed against him.

The Smithton School Board will see a four-way race for two seats. Incumbents Jason Brown and Becky Williams have been challenged by Stacey Luttrell, who ran last year and lost, and Bill Gross.

The City of Green Ridge will not have a contested election this year, as only three people filed for three positions. Mayor Ronnie Ollison will be mayor for another two-year term and incumbent Kelly Lamb and newcomer Charles R. Martin will each be named an alderman.

Calls to the City of Houstonia regarding candidate filing were not returned by press time.

Nicole Cooke can be reached at 660-530-0138 or @NicoleRCooke.

Sedalia Democrat

Nicole Cooke can be reached at 660-530-0138 or @NicoleRCooke.

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