COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
Incumbent Betsy Peters won re-election Tuesday night against business owners Philip Merriman and Randy Minchew for Columbia's sixth ward seat.
"I'm very honored the voters of the sixth ward would return me for another three years and I hope to be able to work on the issues that are important to the sixth ward and issues that are important to the city of Columbia," Peters said.
Peters has been Ward 6 councilwoman since 2015 and she supports the city's new pay-as-you-throw trash pickup system and local coronavirus health orders. She is also a physician and a rental property owner who lives in the East Campus neighborhood.
Trash pileups in East Campus, with abundant rental housing and a high college student population, have been a source of complaints about the city's new trash system. Residential trash customers are issued two city-logo bags a week under the new system and must pay for more logo bags.
Merriman is the owner of IT services and consulting company Serapphim Systems brings his Libertarian-leaning political views to the race. Before results were in, he said no matter the end result this is a win for him.
"I don't consider this a situation where I can lose, the vote either turns out in my favor and I get to have the honor of serving the community and helping them in the ways that I think are important or I get to go back to putting my focus on my business and helping Columbia that way," Merriman said.
Minchew has been a business owner in Columbia for 25 years. He is presenting himself as a more conservative alternative in the Sixth Ward. He also ran for city council in 2015 but dropped out of the race.
This year, Minchew was hoping to win to see change in the city of Columbia.
"This is bigger than me," Minchew said. "This is not about me this is what I can help with."
He was hoping people would show up to vote, noting the usual low turnout for April elections.
"My hope has been that we get a good turnout, so that the city would have spoken," Minchew said.
Local voter Sam Martin almost forgot about the election Tuesday.
"I forgot that this was happening till today, I figured if I'm here and have the ability to I might as well I've got the time," Martin said.
Brianna Lennon, the Boone County Clerk said by 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, turnout was at 12% including absentee numbers.