Three Cape council seats up for grabs

Thursday, August 9, 2007
Loretta Schneider

The next Cape Girardeau City Council election is more than six months away, but the groundwork for campaigning is about to begin.

Terms for three city council members' seats will expire. One official can't run again. Another isn't sure. The third, Loretta Schneider, is already planning to compete.

She and other council hopefuls will need to complete and return two forms, available on Sept. 25 at city hall.

Schneider, of Ward 4, and Debra Tracy, of Ward 3, are eligible for a second four-year term. Matt Hopkins, the councilman representing Ward 5, has served the allowable limit of two terms.

Hopkins declined to speculate on who might step up to replace him.

Debra Tracy

Tracy, elected in April 2005 after a last-minute write-in campaign, hasn't decided whether she'll run again.

Since being elected, Tracy, a member of Westminster Presbyterian Church, has also become a lay pastor. She said her decision to run for city council depends on the requirements of her next pastoral assignment, which she has not yet received.

"I'm not certain what I'm going to do next," she said.

Schneider returned to the council in the same 2005 special election that Tracy won. Schneider was first elected in 1981 and served two terms on the council, before term limits were instituted in the mid-1990s.

Schneider, who plans to campaign to retain her seat, said "even one new council member can change the whole dynamic" of the board.

Matt Hopkins

Who can run

Any registered voter over the age of 21 who has lived in the city for at least two years can run for city council. Candidates must have lived in the wards they want to represent since July 25 to be eligible for the upcoming election.

Each potential candidate must file a nominating petition form, signed by at least 50 people who are registered and eligible to vote in that ward, along with a nomination acceptance form signed by the council hopeful. Both forms will be available at city hall, 401 Independence St., on Sept. 25. Candidates can begin returning signed forms to the city clerk's office Oct. 23. The last day to formally file as a candidate is Nov. 20. The general election is April 8. New members of council will be inducted into office during a special meeting April 15. Council members earn $100 a month.

pmcnichol@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 127

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