The only mayor in Columbia’s history to seek a fourth term in office, Mayor Darwin Hindman, 70, announced Thursday he will seek re-election on April’s ballot.
Hindman, initially elected in 1995 after beating out five other candidates for the position, is in his third term as Columbia’s mayor. He has run unopposed for the non-paying position since 1998.
“I’m proud to have served three terms as mayor and would be proud to be re-elected,” Hindman said.
Hindman made his decision Tuesday, the day before the six-month milestone of his operation to remove the early signs of esophageal cancer. He said his health has improved dramatically since his operation and he feels 90 to 95 percent better.
“I need to make decisions based on something other than health,” Hindman said of his decision to run for re-election.
David Leuthold, professor emeritus of political science at MU, said Hindman’s health should have little to do with his decision to run for re-election.
“We’re all at some risk and each of us needs to face up to our frailties,” Leuthold said. “We need to push ahead and I am glad he is willing to do so.”
Hindman said he has a lot on his agenda for the city, including dealing with the growing city and striving to keep Columbia in the spotlight after recently being named one of 10 best places to live in Sperling’s Best Places.
“I hope the city can continue to grow, and we can maintain or even improve the quality of life in the community,” Hindman said. “Columbia continues to get kudos as a top place to live and we have got to continue to strive for those kind of kudos.”
Petitions to run for mayor are due Jan. 22 and must contain at least 100 signatures of registered voters. So far, no one has registered to challenge Hindman; however, neighborhood activist John G. Clark is considering running for mayor and is circulating the necessary petitions.
“We are on the cusp of making and having to make very important decisions for the next 25 years,” Clark said. “I agree with Hindman.”
Karl Skala, vice chairman of the City Planning and Zoning Committee, is glad to see Hindman is running for re-election but hopes his prospective fourth term will focus more on planning.
“Planning is lacking in our community,” Skala said. “I would like to see more long-range planning. Most of what we do is reaction planning; we need more area and regional planning.”
Hindman said he plans to work diligently toward “safer and more satisfactory travel within the city” and getting new standards for city streets. Hindman also hopes to tackle the Philips tract, the annexation of the Philips property south of town.
Hindman says he is confident his experience with the city and it’s continued support will help him as he works toward a fourth term.
“I stand on my record,” he said. “I’m very proud to do that.”