Three hours before Thursday’s deadline, a fourth and final candidate filed for the Fifth Ward seat on the Columbia City Council. Laura Nauser, a local real estate closing officer, will face Stephen Reichlin, Gayle Troutwine and Joseph Vradenburg for election April 5.
Nauser said she will focus on local education if elected. She is considering her stance on issues such as appropriate city growth and development.
“I think I’ll bring something valuable to the race,” Nauser said. “I’ve been in the real estate title industry since 1983. I also have two children and will deal with issues important to school districts and families.”
Nauser moved to Columbia in 1992 from Sacramento, Calif. In December 2004 she received a degree in political science from Columbia College. Nauser said she has a strong interest in local government and wants to take on the responsibility of serving the Fifth Ward and the city as a whole — hearing concerns and looking at issues with an open mind.
“My job would include being a good servant to the community and making myself available to the citizens of Columbia,” Nauser said.
Columbia resident Kathy Farmer, a former colleague of Nauser’s, is one of the people who signed her petition for candidacy. Farmer spoke of Nauser’s intelligence and strength of character.
“She is very smart, and she is able to make her own decisions based on the facts at hand,” Farmer said. “I know she’ll be very active in participating in any issues that come up. She’ll be very diligent in researching the pros and cons of issues before she makes a decision.”
Columbia resident Jeff Floyd has known Nauser for three years and also signed her petition.
“She is very responsible and I think she’s very grounded,” Floyd said.
The four candidates are running to fill city councilman John John’s seat, which he will vacate in April. City Council members are elected for 3-year terms.
On Saturday, John confirmed his endorsement of candidate Stephen Reichlin, whom he knows through business dealings.
“I have known Steve for a long time,” John said. “He offers some balance in the council with background on the financial side.”
Missourian reporter Warren Robinson contributed to this story.