- Written by Mike Martin
It's a guy thing, but still....
COLUMBIA, Mo 02/11/15 (Beat Byte) -- "Wasteful." "Counter-productive." "Frivolous."
Will "put a chill on the subsequent election."
That was Columbia Daily Tribune columnist-in-chief Hank Waters, in three editorials panning the Ginny Chadwick recall effort. The First Ward Councilwoman resigned after recallers delivered a petition with more than enough signatures to force an ouster election.
With eight First Ward candidates vying to replace Chadwick, Waters must eat his words. If anything, the highly-publicized recall inspired a cross-sectional electoral diversity Columbia hasn't seen in years.
The group will meet at the year's first candidate forum this Friday.
The campaign includes three African-American candidates -- Reynolds Journalism Institute public relations director Nate Brown; a young man of the cloth, the Rev. Rob Stewart; and an older man of the cloth -- and stage -- the Rev. Clyde Ruffin, a soon-to-be Mizzou theatre professor emeritus.
Joining them are two representatives of the outspoken wing of Columbia life: John Clark, an attorney and because of his long-time city and First Ward activism, probably the most qualified candidate; and Eastside Tavern owner Sal Nuccio. Both Clark and Nuccio have run for City Council positions before, including Mayor.
There's the so-called "pro-development" candidate -- Dan Rader, whose family owns Bengals Bar and Grill and other downtown property; and the pro-liberty candidate, Jake Loft, recently endorsed by the man who led the charge to oust Chadwick, pro-Grow advocate Eapen Thampy.
Finally, Rob Rasmussen, a coordinator at Woodhaven whose Facebook page says he's the pro-equality guy -- for tenants, the LGBT community, and so forth. In a city where some animals are A LOT more equal than others, Rasmussen's candidacy may prove refreshing.
I know what you're thinking: not much gender diversity here. But though this is an all-guy group, there's significant inter-guy diversity: younger and older; black and white; pro-biz guys and pro-gov guys; old hands at local politics -- and total newbies.
All of which promises to make this First Ward race one of the hottest in years. "A chill on the subsequent election"?
Mr. Waters, your crow is now served.
Columbia City Council First Ward Candidate Forum
Friday, February 13
Blind Boone Community Center
301 N. Providence Rd
The forum is free and open to everyone. The emphasis will be on questions from the audience.
For more information, contact:
-- Mike Martin