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Matt Pitzer elected fifth ward city councilman, beats Art Jago

UPDATE: Matt Pitzer has been elected as fifth ward city councilman. Pitzer received 1146 votes while his opponent Art Jago received 1091 votes.

ORIGINAL: A new face will join the Columbia City Council to represent the southwest side of town.

Portfolio manager Matthew Pitzer and University of Missouri business professor Art Jago are running for the Fifth Ward seat. Laura Nauser, a juvenile court administrator, decided not to run for a fifth term. Nauser served 10 of the last 12 years on council representing the Fifth Ward. She won narrowly in a 2013 special election, after Helen Anthony moved out of the area shortly after Anthony was elected. Doctors diagnosed her with ovarian cancer last year.

Pitzer has collected endorsements from Nauser and Mayor Brian Treece, both donating to his campaign effort. Pitzer collected more than $18,000 for the election, according to the Missouri Ethics Commission. Treece credited his financial acumen, saying the council needed someone with that background.

Jago said he has not actively sought endorsements or donations this election, wanting to remain an “independent” candidate. He gave himself $15,000 last week for the election, on top of the more than $6,000 people gave him.

The area has been the site of several battles over its growing population. Nauser led the effort last year to reconsider a massive electric line route that would have went through south Columbia, angering some residents and ultimately leading to a recall effort of Nauser.

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