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Columbia First Ward voters recall city councilman Nick Knoth


Columbia's First Ward voters successfully recalled councilman Nick Knoth at the polls on Tuesday.

Knoth is being recalled due to his job as a lobbyist for the Missouri Association of Realtors. The group Recall Nick Knoth said housing issues are important to the first ward and believes his day job presented a direct conflict of interest with his duties as a councilman.

Fifty-seven percent of first ward voters voted in favor of the recall, with 43% voting no.

Knoth claimed there was no conflict of interest, but said he respects the voices of first ward residents.

"I put my faith in the first ward to make the decision for themselves," Knoth said. "It appears they've done that, and I have nothing but confidence and respect for it. I have nothing but love for the first ward."

Recall Nick Knoth group member Sarah Medcalf said she is relieved to see Knoth be recalled, saying common sense prevailed.

"I'm impressed with the people who cared enough to come out and vote and the caliber of residents we have in the first ward who care very much about keeping this a residential neighborhood where people can afford to rent, where people can afford to buy a house if there are houses available. We'd really like it to continue to be an accessible neighborhood to the community, and I worry that wouldn't have happened with the influence of Missouri Realtors."

Knoth was appointed to city council in April of 2023. He took a job with Missouri Realtors in September. He said while public service doesn't come without its negatives, he is thankful for the opportunity to serve.

"I appreciate the opportunity to have served, and I'm proud of the work I've managed to do in the short time I did serve on council," Knoth said.

This is the first time since 1990 a Columbia city council member has been successfully recalled.

Medcalf said this serves as a reminder people can affect change at the grassroots level.

"It feels amazing.... that you talk to your neighbors, just sit and have coffee (over something) that you know is wrong, that you can take that on," Medcalf said. "So, I feel pretty inspired by what happened today."

Disclosure reports show the recall group raised $485 throughout the campaign, spending $367. Group member Susan Maze said last week organizers were going door-to-door, speaking with neighbors and giving out yard signs to people in the first ward.

Knoth said he had been attending candidate forums and meeting with anyone who reached out wanting to talk to him and learn more about his position.

The recall group doesn't have anyone in mind to take Knoth's place, and Medcalf said they will now just wait and see who throws their hat into the ring. Knoth said he hopes someone comes forward to lead and unite the first ward going forward.

Article Topic Follows: Your Voice Your Vote

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Morgan Buresh

Morgan is an evening anchor and reporter who came to ABC 17 News in April 2023.


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