Sixth Ward candidate Robison kicks off campaign

Wednesday, March 11, 2009 | 12:01 a.m. CDT; updated 10:14 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, March 11, 2009

COLUMBIA – Rod Robison feels underrepresented.

As the challenger to incumbent Barbara Hoppe’s Sixth Ward council seat, Robison says he knows he is fighting an uphill battle, but he thinks that his ward and Columbia need better representation – something he believes he can provide.

“My whole campaign is based on that Barbara doesn’t represent the entire Sixth Ward,” Robison said.

Robison kicked off his campaign with a party and fundraising event on Tuesday night at the Riechmann Pavilion at Stephens Lake Park. Roughly 65 Sixth Ward residents and supporters gathered to eat home-cooked spaghetti and desserts and learn about the candidate.

Robison plans to campaign with a one-word slogan, “Balance,” because he says he believes the City Council needs to adjust its priorities to better represent citizens of Columbia. At the event, which consisted mainly by supporters, attendees said they appreciate the principles Robison said he wants to bring to the council.

“I feel like we aren’t getting the representation that we need,” said Shepard-area resident Neal Jones. “I think, for me, he’ll (Robison) bring more interest to our neighborhood and help small businesses. Small business is so important to our community."

Campaign manager Bondi Wood shared similar sentiments.

“His opponent keeps saying that she supports jobs, but her record doesn’t show,” Wood said.

Don Stamper, executive director of the Central Missouri Development Council, expressed his personal support of Robison because of Robison's stance on development and emphasis on bringing jobs to Columbia.

"I think it's on the top of his plate," Stamper said. "I think that the City Council is weak on this and out of touch."

Others shared a similar view of the council being out of touch, including Robison. He said he was happy that both Allan Sharrock and Jason Thornhill, candidates for the Second Ward who both were in attendance, are business- and economy-oriented.

"I think I feel real comfortable with these two guys running for the Second Ward ," Robison said. "I'm not worried about losing another section of town."

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