Could an American Gladiator become Columbia's next Mayor?
COLUMBIA, 6/1/12 (Beat Byte) -- As the only person in Columbia most people know by her first name alone, Zim Schwartze might be a natural for the city's top job.
Supporters of the idea started chattering about the possibility of a 2013 Zim for Mayor candidacy after the former Columbia police captain and Columbia/Boone County emergency management director left her job earlier this month. Schwartze -- who did not rule out a race -- told the Heart Beat she finds the rumors "intriguing," "quite interesting," and "pretty darn cool."

Downsized out for what city manager Mike Matthes characterized as "budgetary reasons," Schwartze wasted no time moving on with other ventures, including a residential cleaning and maintenance company she started with her husband that goes by her one-and-only first name.
Before taking the job as emergency management director in 2009, the 17 year Columbia police veteran had applied to become Columbia's police chief, ultimately losing out to Ken Burton. Her appointment to the 911 center post followed high praise by then city manager Bill Watkins, who said he had "been very impressed with her willingness to jump in and fix problems."
With a high-energy persona that has taken her from the American Gladiator stage to the top ranks of Columbia City Hall, "Zim would definitely be a person people could get excited about" an advocate for her candidacy said. Supporters also cite newly-elected Hallsville Mayor Cheri Reisch, who won the seat from incumbent Ben Austene in April after she was ousted from her job as Hallsville's city clerk.