An election race that was marked by high spending and negative campaigning is finally over. Helen Anthony won the Fifth Ward Columbia City Council seat with about 53 percent of the vote Tuesday night, defeating Glen Ehrhardt.
The Fifth Ward candidates ran relatively high-priced elections. Ehrhardt and Anthony spent more money than all the First Ward candidates combined.
As of March 29, Ehrhardt had spent $13,766 on the campaign; Anthony had spent $11,722.
To put those numbers in perspective, First Ward winner Fred Schmidt spent $5,769 in the same time period, according to a previous Missourian report.
The election trail also became more heated when both candidates debated on the role of city firefighters in the campaign.
Anthony sent out fliers last month questioning the endorsement that the Columbia Professional Firefighters association gave to Ehrhardt. The flier had messages saying, “What has Ehrhardt promised the firefighters?” and “Political deals have no place between City Council members and city employees."
Also, Ehrhardt became the first candidate endorsed by the Chamber of Commerce to lose a council race since the organization started endorsing candidates in 2010. Third Ward Councilman Gary Kespohl, Fourth Ward Councilman Daryl Dudley and Mayor Bob McDavid all received endorsements in the previous municipal election.
Were you surprised by Helen Anthony's win in the Fifth Ward?