Commissioner Karen Miller kicks off re-election campaign with dinner

Wednesday, October 26, 2011 | 8:33 p.m. CDT; updated 9:53 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, October 26, 2011
From left, Boone County Southern District Commissioner Karen Miller and her friend Sharon Paulsell prepare to make wonton sausage stars. The wonton sausage stars were served at the dinner that kicked off Miller's re-election campaign on Wednesday evening.

COLUMBIA — Boone County Southern District Commissioner Karen Miller kicked off her re-election campaign on Wednesday.

Speaking at a dinner event held at Culinary Adventures, Miller, a Democrat, said she wanted to let people know she was going to run again early because 2012 will be a "hectic" year for elections and there could be many changes on the commission.

All three commission seats will be up for election next year. Northern District Commissioner Skip Elkin has said he will not run again. Presiding Commissioner Dan Atwill, who was appointed to the commission after the death of Ed Robb, will also be running for election. The general election will be held in November 2012, alongside the presidential election.

The dinner event almost didn't have any food.

After finding out that her caterer had pinkeye and wouldn't be able to work, Miller enlisted the help of her friends to cook for Wednesday's event. Sharon Paulsell, Miller's friend and workout buddy, and former Northern District Commissioner Linda Vogt helped cook dinner and appetizers. Miller made the green beans.

Vogt, who was a commissioner from 1991 to 2000, became friends with Miller when they served on the commission together. She has volunteered to help Miller's re-election campaign because she has experience running for office and wants to help others. She also jumped at the chance to help with dinner when she heard of Miller's situation.

"That's when you know you have good friends," Miller said.

Miller is no stranger to the kitchen. Before being elected to the commission she owned a restaurant. Paulsell and Miller also regularly cater each other's dinner parties.

Sometimes guests are shocked to see a Boone County commissioner in the kitchen, Paulsell said.

Miller has been on the commission since 1993. The last time she was elected was in 2008, when she ran unopposed.

Editor's note: Missourian reporter Karen Miller is unrelated to Commissioner Miller.

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