The president said he is filing paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to start a campaign some say could lead to more than $1 billion in fundraising.
The four candidates for the First Ward seat addressed race relations in the central city ward.
The Saturday event also includes a potluck dinner.
The budget bill now moves to the Senate, where it could face opposition from some Republicans who were looking to make deeper cuts.
The Missouri senator has spent four years working on initiatives to curb government spending and abuse. Republicans say that image has been irreparably damaged by the plane episode.
The reports show that each Fifth Ward candidate has spent more than the four First Ward candidates combined.
Pam Forbes, Mitch Richards, Fred Schmidt and Darrell Foster answer questions from the Missourian's readers and reporters.
Darrell Foster hopes to bring his history of community activism and commitment to inclusion to Columbia's City Council. Foster is running for the council's First Ward seat.
Schmidt is a native of Columbia and resettled here because he grew tired of giant corporations in California and New York. He's running to represent the First Ward.
Richards, who believes in the rights of citizens, opposes the militarization of police operations and drug enforcement. He thinks the government should help drug addicts, not imprison them.
She is one of four candidates on the April 5 ballot for the First Ward City Council seat being vacated by Paul Sturtz.
The candidates discussed Columbia's Neighborhood Response Team — and potential problems with its work — which focuses heavily on their ward.
The Consumer Healthcare Products Association is running radio ads against a law requiring a doctor's prescription for medications containing pseudoephedrine.
The state's searchable campaign finance records now include those of committees formed to support or oppose ballot measures.
First Ward candidates focused on issues related to affirmative action, while Fifth Ward candidates discussed erosion, energy-efficient homes and the Office of Neighborhood Services.
Nine city council and school board candidates are expected to attend for a question and answer session.
Senate President Pro Tem Rob Mayer gave little indication of what he wants cut, but noted that there are possible savings in restructuring and paring back the state's tax credits.
Opposing groups held rallies in front of the Columbia Planned Parenthood office Saturday.
The judge's order will prevent the law signed into effect last week from being published March 25.
About 20 protesters from the group Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment interrupted Gov. Jay Nixon's appearance in St. Louis on Friday.