Harry Rediger to run for Cape mayor; field of candidates now at 3
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Standing in front of the J.C. Penney store where he was manager for 20 years, retired businessman Harry Rediger on Monday announced he will run for mayor of Cape Girardeau.
With more than 50 supporters nearby, including many prominent business leaders, Rediger said he's ready for a challenge after years of involvement in city and civic causes. He spoke of his time in business and volunteering in leadership roles for the United Way, the Red Cross, the Cape Girardeau Area Chamber of Commerce and the city Planning and Zoning Commission, among others. He said he feels he left a "footprint" on each.
"I decided I want to make one more footprint here in Cape Girardeau," Rediger said.
Rediger joins former councilman Matt Hopkins and businessman Walter White in the contest. With all three filed -- and at least one more candidate holding nominating petitions who may file -- the city will hold a primary election Feb. 2 to select candidates for an April 6 general election.
Outgoing Mayor Jay Knudtson must give up the post because of term limits. There will also be elections in Wards 1, 2 and 6 next year. To run, a candidate must file petitions with signatures from 50 registered voters by 5 p.m. today.
On Monday, tax accountant Teresa Robinson filed against incumbent Ward 1 Councilman John Voss. Three candidates, medical technician Don Howard, advertising saleswoman Meg Davis and Stafford Moore, have filed for the open Ward 2. Two more candidates hold nominating petitions. Only one candidate, businesswoman Kathy Swan, has filed for the open Ward 6.
Rediger has considered, but backed away from, running for other offices, most recently state representative. Asked why he wants to be mayor, Rediger said he must step down soon from the city Planning and Zoning Commission. "I am going to be done, and I don't want to be done," he said.
Rediger is chairman of the commission's transportation subcommittee, which is drafting plans for a tax election for roads in August 2010. He said he wants to see the tax pass as well as work on other issues, including downtown revitalization and the construction of a new wastewater treatment plant.
Rediger was introduced by longtime friend Dennis Marchi, manager of Schnucks. Cape Girardeau is stable and strong, Marchi said, and he believes Rediger will provide continued strong leadership.
"He gets very involved in the city because he loves it so much," Marchi said.
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