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Columbia business owner running for Ward 4 council seat

Erica Pefferman announced her candidacy for Columbia's Ward 4 council seat.
Erica Pefferman
Erica Pefferman announced her candidacy for Columbia's Ward 4 council seat.

COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)

The owner of COMO Magazine and the Columbia Marketing Group has announced her candidacy for Columbia's Ward 4 council seat.

Erica Pefferman announced her candidacy in a video posted to Facebook Monday night. The seat is open to candidates after current Fourth Ward Councilman Ian Thomas announced earlier this month he would not seek reelection.

"It's something I've thought about for a really long time," Pefferman told ABC 17 News. She said life seemed to line up for a run right now -- she lives in Ward 4, the current Ward 4 councilor announced he is not seeking reelection, business is going well, and her five children are in a good spot.

"I have a lot of support for it and I decided that the time was right to do it," Pefferman said.

Pefferman acquired COMO Magazine and the Columbia Marketing Group in 2019, which are located in The District downtown. She's worked as a partner in the organizations since 2013.

The Columbia Marketing Group was involved with a campaign finance issue in 2019.

The Missouri Ethics Commission found Columbia mayoral candidate Chris Kelly broke campaign finance law because Kelly's campaign accepted what was reported on his campaign finance forms as a $950 in-kind contribution from the Columbia Marketing Group. The Missouri Constitution bans political contributions from corporations.

Pefferman told ABC 17 News on Tuesday that Kelly's campaign didn't realize the business was an S corporation and thus barred from providing in-kind donations.

"When they filed it incorrectly, we realized it, we discovered it, they paid me in full for the services that we provided and it was fixed within 24 hours," Pefferman said.

She told ABC 17 News the issue gave her a crash course in election law.

"I've already been in communications with the Missouri Ethics Commission about how to handle that for my own campaign and there won't be any mistakes," Pefferman said.

The candidate called herself an experiential learner. She doesn't have experience in politics, but she says she's a quick learner.

Pefferman told ABC 17 News that she chose to run for a city council seat rather than a statewide position because she's invested in the community.

"I don't have political aspirations, I have Columbia aspirations," Pefferman said.

Though Pefferman announced her candidacy, it's not official with the city yet. The City of Columbia will begin accepting candidate filings on Oct. 26.

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Molly Stawinoga

Molly Stawinoga is ABC 17’s weekday morning anchor and a reporter at ABC 17 News. Molly joined the news team in 2017 while studying political science, journalism and Spanish at the University of Missouri. She is originally from DeKalb, Illinois.

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