Two aldermen eye mayor's post

Friday, September 22, 2006

Jackson voters are likely to see at least one familiar candidate vying for mayor on the April ballot.

After serving on the Jackson Board of Aldermen for the past four years, Barbara Lohr announced this week she will file in December for the mayor's seat.

Lohr said she had been considering the position for about a year but was waiting to make her decision public until current Mayor Paul Sander announced he wasn't going to seek re-election. He made that announcement in July during his campaign for county clerk.

Sander has been Jackson's mayor for the last 14 years.

"I really do care for this city," said Lohr, who's been a resident of Jackson for more than 40 years. "As a council member, I've been able to be of service to the city, and I would like to continue that service as the mayor," she said.

The office of mayor is considered a part-time job and pays $250 per month. Aldermen are paid $100 per month.

Jackson has never had a female mayor, said city clerk Mary Lowry. Jackson resident Rebecca Ward ran unsuccessfully against Sander in 2005.

Dave Reiminger, a 12-year member of the board of aldermen, has expressed an interest in running for mayor. However, he isn't sure whether that would cause a conflict because his wife, Martha, is employed by the city of Jackson.

"I'm checking with the Missouri Municipal League, and I've got the city attorney, Tom Ludwig, looking into the issue. I want to make sure that I have a green light before I announce if I'm going to run or not," Reiminger said.

Reiminger said Lohr will be the first person he will tell if he decides to file for the spot in December.

At one time, Alderman Kerry Hoffman considered running for mayor. He's served on the board for 12 years and as mayor pro tem for the last eight years. However, Hoffman isn't sure whether he will even seek re-election to his Ward 2 alderman seat.

"I've got a new business venture and a new grandson in Columbia. I may decide not to run. I've been on the board since 1995, so it may be time to move on," Hoffman said.

The remaining aldermen -- Val Tuschhoff, Phil Penzel, Larry Cunningham, Dale Rauh and Joe Baker -- said they were not interested in running for mayor.

Both Reiminger and Lohr were elected in April for the two-year terms of aldermen in their wards. If either position became open, the mayor would appoint a replacement.

jfreeze@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 246

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