COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
The filing to run for Columbia mayor and Columbia city council opens on Tuesday morning. Candidates for mayor and city council have until January 11 at 5 p.m. to gain signatures and submit paperwork for a spot in the race.
Columbia Mayor Candidates
Officially, candidates for the mayoral race cannot file until 8 a.m. on Tuesday but multiple residents have already announced they will be running for the next mayor of Columbia. Candidates for mayor need to gain 100 signatures of support in order to be approved for candidacy.
Barbara Buffaloe announced her candidacy for the next mayor of Columbia earlier this month. In a Facebook post announcing her candidacy, she labeled it as a grassroots campaign.
"I am starting this process as I've done most of my projects, with a little help from my friends and this amazing community," she wrote on the Facebook post. "There's no 'machine' behind me - so far it's just me and whoever wants to help out."
Buffaloe is the former sustainability manager for the City of Columbia. She left her position in May after 11 years of working for the city saying she needed to make more time for family.
David Seamon is a current Columbia Public Schools Board of Education member. He announced his run for Mayor of Columbia last week. Seamon was elected to the CPS Board of Education in June 2020.
Seamon said if elected, he wants to focus on equality and building a "vibrant future for Columbia."
“Our city is a hub for education, healthcare, and business. We enjoy a lot of prosperity, but everyone deserves a share in it," Seamon said. "The challenges we're facing right now –– keeping Columbia affordable, reimagining community safety, distributing opportunity across the city –– are chances to do better than we have in the past."
According to his press release, Seamon is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and would be Columbia's first black mayor if he's elected.
Tanya Heath announced her candidacy for Mayor of Columbia earlier this week.
According to a press release from her campaign, Heath is a Hickman High School and University of Missouri alumna.
“The reason I’m running for Mayor of Columbia is that we are at a pivotal point in our history,” Heath said. “In my career, my specialty is listening and brainstorming with folks to find positive solutions that help everyone move forward.”
Heath said she is running on the campaign of "common sense and collaborative solutions" to make the community stronger and improve the community's physical, mental and emotional health.
According to the press release, she is the Director of Advertising for Mizzou Magazine, a wellness practitioner, and a professor for strategic communication at the MU School of Journalism.
Randy Minchew is a former Columbia's sixth ward seat candidate and has announced he is running for the Mayor of Columbia.
Minchew has been a business owner in Columbia for 25 years. He also ran for the city council in 2021 and 2015 but dropped out of the race.
Minchew's campaign is run on having a "safer, stronger Columbia."
He says wants to fix the city's trash issues, create better training for police, and bring in more officers to the department. He also wants to add more fire stations to Columbia.
Columbia City Council Candidates
Fourth Ward Councilman Ian Thomas announced earlier this month he would not seek reelection leaving Ward 4 open for new candidates to fill the open spot. Ward 3 also has an opening on Columbia City Council for the April election.
City Council candidates need to gain at least 50 signatures of support in order to run for the position.
Erica Pefferman has announced she will be running be Columbia City Council Ward 4.
She is the owner of COMO Magazine and the Columbia Marketing Group.
"It's something I've thought about for a really long time," Pefferman told ABC 17 News. "I have a lot of support for it and I decided that the time was right to do it."
Previously, The Columbia Marketing Group was involved with a campaign finance issue in 2019 with a donation to former Columbia Mayor candidate Chris Kelly.
Pefferman said her campaign will be run on her "Columbia aspirations" which is why she chose to run for a local position vs. a statewide position.
Nick Foster announced he will be running for Columbia City Council's Ward 4 seat.
Foster recently retired from the Voluntary Action Center in Columbia, after serving as the center's Executive Director for nine years. According to a release, Foster has spent 20 years serving in nonprofits in Alabama and Indiana.
“Having lived in Columbia for eleven years and having been involved in serving the community through all those years,” Foster said in a release. “I now want to offer my energies and my skills to my community in public service.”
Foster said he wants to make Columbia a "vibrant, diverse, welcoming city who embraces the future and the promise tomorrow holds."
Elections for the next Mayor of Columbia and Columbia City Council will be held on April 5, 2022.