Deadline approaches to file for School Board, City Council elections

Thursday, January 9, 2014 | 7:41 p.m. CST; updated 7:59 p.m. CST, Thursday, January 9, 2014

COLUMBIA — Time is running out to file for candidacy in the 2014 City Council and Columbia School Board elections.

Helen Wade is the most recent School Board member to file for re-election, Columbia Public Schools spokeswoman Michelle Baumstark said. Three positions on the board are up for election this year.

Two City Council seats also available, one to represent the First Ward and the other representing the Fifth Ward. Less than a week is left before the deadline to file as a candidate for the council seats, now held by Fred Schmidt and Laura Nauser.

Nauser reminded those interested in running for City Council to focus on the needs of their constituents.

"You have to go out and hit the doors and talk (to) people," she said, "and find out what's on their minds."

The City Clerk's Office will accept petitions for City Council until 5 p.m. Tuesday and the Columbia Public School District will accept applications for the school board until 5 p.m. Jan. 21.

Here's an overview of each of the candidates:

City Council

  • Fifth Ward: Laura Nauser is running for a fourth term as Fifth Ward councilwoman. As of Thursday, there were no other opponents for the position. Nauser served as Fifth Ward councilwoman from 2005 until 2011. She returned in a 2013 special election after Councilwoman Helen Anthony vacated her position. Nauser works as a part-time program assistant at the Robert L. Perry Juvenile Justice Center. If re-elected, Nauser said, she will continue to focus on issues related to crime, public safety, and infrastructure.
  • First Ward: Ginny Chadwick is a newcomer as candidate for the First Ward council seat. Chadwick is an MU graduate student studying public health and strategic communications. In 2011, she served as campaign treasurer for First Ward Councilman Fred Schmidt, who announced in November that he would not run for re-election. As of Thursday, there were no other candidates running for First Ward.

Columbia School Board

  • Paul Cushing was a member of the board between April 2012 and October 2012 but vacated the position to accept a job in Minnesota as a programmer for White House Custom Color. He transferred back to Columbia in March 2013. Cushing said he would like to see to see the board work more closely with the city on making schools a greater priority in new development.
  • Jonathan Sessions is running for re-election. He joined the board in 2010 for a one-year term and was re-elected for a three-year term in 2011. Sessions is a managing partner for a computer and technology consulting firm.
  • Helen Wade is running for re-election. She was first elected to the board in 2011. She works as an attorney at Harper, Evans, Wade, & Netemeyer.

Elections for both City Council and the Columbia School Board will be held April 8. The last day to register to vote in the election is March 12.

Supervising editor is Stephanie Ebbs.

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Mike Martin January 9, 2014 | 8:20 p.m.

I think Rex Cone is running for school board, too. Matthew Huffman and Duell Lauderdale are gathering petition signatures for First Ward.

(Report Comment)
Joan Koka January 11, 2014 | 12:51 p.m.

Hi Mr. Martin,

This is Joan Koka, the reporter behind the story. Thank you for your comment. For this story, we only included people who had submitted their petitions for candidacy, as reported by the City Clerk's Office and Columbia Public Schools spokeswoman Michelle Baumstark.

I was unable to reach Mr. Huffman and Mr. Lauderdale for comment on Friday and the City Clerk's office told me that it does not keep record of the names of people who have picked up petitions, only those who have submitted them. We will continue to follow up on any changes and new additions once the deadline passes.

The Missourian previously reported that Rex Cone was a candidate in the school board but on Friday Cone said he pulled out of the race on Jan. 8. He told me he was considering another job offer and thought the work would be too much alongside his other obligations. He said he will continue to be involved in other volunteer areas related to the school system.


Joan Koka

(Report Comment)

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