Knudtson seeks second Cape stint

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Two other council members also plan to seek re-election; Walter White says he'll oppose the incumbent mayor.

Backed by Jackson Mayor Paul Sander, Cape Girardeau Mayor Jay Knudtson announced Monday he will seek re-election to a second term.

Knudtson made the announcement before a crowd of about 30 supporters who showed up at a vacant storefront on Main Street to loudly cheer their candidate.

"I love this city. I believe in this city. Now I'm ready to continue serving this city," Knudtson said.

The endorsement by Sander marked the first time in memory that a Jackson mayor has showed up at a news conference to publicly urge voters to re-elect a Cape Girardeau mayor.

Jackson's mayor said he and Knudtson have become close friends. "You have earned the support of the citizens of Cape Girardeau," he told Knudtson.

Both Sander and Knudtson stressed the growing cooperation between the two cities in everything from the East Street interchange project to joint water connections.

"If Cape Girardeau prospers, Jackson prospers and visa versa," Knudtson said.

Civic leader Harry Rediger credited Knudtson with helping to pass the fire sales tax, extend a transportation sales tax for another five years, and settle a controversial River Campus lawsuit involving businessman Jim Drury.

The four-year terms of mayor and council members Evelyn Boardman, Charlie Herbst and Marcia Ritter expire next April.

Boardman won't seek re-election to the Ward 1 seat. But both Herbst in Ward 2 and Ritter in Ward 6 plan to seek second terms.

The filing period opens today and runs through Nov. 22.

If more than two candidates file for any of the four offices, a primary election for that office will be held on Feb. 7. The general election is scheduled for April 4.

Knudtson faces opposition from Ole Country Store owner and real estate investor Walter White.

White, 48, ran unsuccessfully for mayor in 2002, losing in the four-candidate February primary.

White, who also is an ordained minister and member of the Gospel Tabernacle in Hayti, Mo., said he's ready to run again. He ran for political office in 2004, losing races for county commissioner and school board.

If elected mayor, White said he would push to create more good paying jobs. "We need something that will take good care of the family," he said.

A third possible candidate is Steven Brian Markovich of 2048 Big Bend Rd. Markovich took out a nominating petition. But repeated telephone calls to his home went unanswered.

Other candidates who have taken out nominating petitions are John Voss of 834 Alta Vista Dr. in Ward 1; and Richard Hengst of 1309 Kenwood Dr. and Robert Glasper of 524 S. Spring Ave., both in Ward 6.

Candidates must submit nominating petitions signed by at least 50 registered voters in his or her ward in the case of council positions and from within the city of Cape Girardeau in the case of mayor.

Candidates must be registered voters, at least 21 years old and a resident of the city for at least two years prior to the election. Those running for council seats also must have resided in their ward for at least 90 days prior to the first day of filing.

mbliss@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 123

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