FINAL RESULTS: Brian Treece beats Skip Walther to become Columbia’s next mayor. 9,211 voted for Treece, while 8,438 voted for Walther.
Treece will become the third mayor in two decades for mid-Missouri’s biggest city.
Columbia lawyer Harold “Skip” Walther and lobbyist Brian Treece faced off for the position, after current mayor Bob McDavid announced he would not seek a third term. McDavid was first elected in 2010, taking over for Darwin Hindman, who won five consecutive elections beginning in 1995.
Walther, a longtime Columbia lawyer, boasts the endorsements of both McDavid and Hindman. He worked as an assistant Boone County prosecutor, and served as the president of the Missouri Bar Association from 2009 to 2010. Walther also works on the city’s downtown community improvement district’s board of directors, which also houses his law firm.
Treece, a partner in the lobbying firm TreecePhillips in Jefferson City, leads the city’s Downtown Leadership Council. He also works on the city’s Historic Preservation Commission, where he spearheaded efforts to stop the demolition of the Niedermeyer House downtown and questioned the city’s thinking in allowing for more development downtown. The Columbia Police Officers Association endorsed Treece.
Both candidates raised enormous amounts of money for the campaign. Walther collected $69,407, according to the last required disclosure with the state’s ethics commission, while Treece reported $70,612. Both continued to collect money after that last report, Treece collecting $5,000 the day before the election.