Two candidates running for more than one post in April elections

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The April 7 municipal elections in Southeast Missouri will feature at least two candidates trying to win two campaigns, as well as offices where not enough candidates filed to fill all the available positions.

Pat Wissman, who lost a close contest in the Democratic primary for Cape Girardeau County commissioner in August, filed Tuesday for a seat on the Jackson School Board. Wissman is also one of three candidates seeking a term on the Cape Special Road District board, a contest where he will face incumbent Robert W. Erlbacher II and Norman Goehman.

And in addition to seeking a spot with the road district, Goehman is a candidate for one of the two seats on the East County Fire Protection District board that will be filled in April.

Wissman said the two jobs are complementary. The meeting times for the two boards don't conflict, and with Jackson school buses running on many of the district's roads, a link between the two boards could be mutually beneficial.

"They enhance each other to work on the infrastructure of the county and the school district," he said.

Wissman will face incumbents Brent Wills and Cathy Goodman as well as Robert Aubuchon in the Jackson school contest. The two winning the highest vote totals will assume three-year terms on the board.

Goehman, who could not be reached for comment, will face Terrence Kelly and Connie Exler in the race for two seats on the East County Fire Protection District board. Kelly and Exler were appointed to the board by Circuit Judge William Syler in the fall after resignations left Pamela Allen as the only remaining member.

Filing closed Tuesday for offices on school boards, village and town boards and road and fire district boards. The nonpartisan election will also feature local ballot measures, such as the proposals in the East County Fire Protection District and the Millersville Fire District to expand their governing boards from three to five members.

Filing for most positions took place at district or town offices. The names of candidates and any ballot measures approved for an April vote must be delivered to county clerk's offices by Tuesday.

In some instances, voters will select candidates by wards or districts while for other races the candidates all compete to gain one, two or more open positions.

In the Cape Girardeau School District, newcomers to politics Betty Mosley and Luther Bonds will seek to unseat incumbents Kyle McDonald and Charles Bertrand. Mosley, a seamstress and former owner of Sew Unique, said she put two sons through Cape Girardeau schools and wants the district to do more to keep students from dropping out.

Mosley said she was inspired by the message of President Obama's campaign. "When I listened to Obama's speech, hope over fear, it dawned on me that I have a lot of fear. I said to myself, 'that is it, I am fearing too much.' I fear what people are going to say, I fear what people are going to think, and it means I had to go for it."

Bonds, executive director of the Cape Girardeau Boys & Girls Club, said he's jumping into the race because he sees things that need changing and doesn't want to be the kind of person who complains without taking action.

"One thing I think that needs changing is more parental involvement," Bonds said. "There is a wall that has been set up for the longest time. It needs to be more inviting for the parents."

Other contested races in the area include:

* Chaffee Board of Aldermen. In Ward 1, William Strickland, Wayne Held and Darlene Crocker are vying for an open seat. Deborah Eichhorn resigned in October. In Ward 4, Russell Golightly will compete with Dennis Glastetter. Ronald Eichhorn in Ward 2, Ryan Pennington in Ward 3 and Steve Loucks in Ward 3 are unopposed.

* Perryville Board of Aldermen. In Ward 2, incumbent Randy J. Leible will face challenger Donald L. Horn. Larry E. Riney in Ward 1 and Gary J. Schumer in Ward 3 are unopposed.

* Millersville Fire District. Incumbent board member Lori Aufdenberg faces a challenge from Janice Robertson.

In towns or districts where only enough candidates filed to fill the available seats, there will be no election. That will be the case for the Cape Girardeau County Public Health Center board, where incumbents Pat Abernathy, Michael C. Wulfers M.D. and John R. Janssen were the only candidates to file for three seats.

But in Oak Ridge, only one candidate, Donald E. England, filed for office when two seats are available. The village residents will be able to fill the other seat with write-in votes, said Joey Keys, director of elections for Cape Girardeau County.

rkeller@semissourian.com

388-3642

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