Steven Peel is tossing his name into Cape Girardeau's upcoming city council election. Peel, a Ward 5 resident, will run against candidate Mark Lanzotti.
Peel said he has no particular beef with Lanzotti.
"I just don't think anybody should run unopposed," Peel said. "I think people should have a choice."
He got the idea to run while chatting with a neighbor and friend, Jason Parker Crombie.
"I told him I'd run if he'd manage the campaign," Peel said.
Though municipal races are nonpartisan, Peel described himself as "more libertarian than anything."
Peel, 45, a Sikeston native, said he served on a school board for a private school in Jonesboro, Ark., and was a candidate for Cape Girardeau's public school board in 2004.
An independent seed salesman, Peel said he's lived in Arkansas, Mississippi and Argentina working for seed corporations.
"Once you go away and come back, you appreciate it so much more," he said of Cape Girardeau. "It has everything. It's a big city with a small-town atmosphere."
He is married and the father of two teenaged daughters. The family moved to Cape Girardeau in 1980.
"If he wins, great," Peel said of Lanzotti. "I do not have a bone to pick with anybody. I'm not mad at anybody."
But he does have definite ideas, including making sure the city's downtown area has less blight and more affordable housing.
"Instead of moving Cape Girardeau north into farm land and new areas, why don't we start looking at areas we've got, all the streets with water and the infrastructure is there," he said. "We just don't have the housing."
Ward 5 is currently represented by Matt Hopkins. Lanzotti, a lawyer, has already filed his paperwork.Cape Girardeau's two other city council candidates, Ward 3's Debra Tracy and Ward 4's Loretta Schneider, are currently unopposed.
In Jackson, four incumbents are in a position to extend their roles as city aldermen: Curtis Poore, who stepped into fill Mayor Barbara Lohr's unexpired term in Ward 1: David Reiminger, Ward 2; Larry Cunningham, Ward 3; and Joe Bob Baker, Ward 4.
Both municipal elections are set for April 8.
335-6611, extension 127