Former Cape councilman, police officer announces run for commissioner

Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Charlie Herbst

A former Cape Girardeau police officer and city council member is eyeing a seat on the county commission.

Charlie Herbst, who served as a police officer for 10 years and a councilman for eight, announced his intention to run as a Republican for the District 2 associate commissioner seat Monday. The seat serves as Cape Girardeau's presence on the commission and is currently held by Jay Purcell.

"My 20-plus years in municipal government has provided me with the experience to lead at the county level," Herbst said in a news release. "I am excited about the opportunity to represent the citizens and encourage and support the growth of this great county."

When reached at his home Monday night, Herbst said he believes county and city government are similar. Herbst said he has a forward-thinking mindset that could benefit the commission.

"I hope to bring some more global thinking to the commission," he said. "I'd like to help develop a five- to 10-year picture of what the county will look like."

Herbst said his time as a city employee gives him a great understanding of several county entities, namely the sheriff's department.

Herbst served on the Cape Girardeau Police Department from 1989 to 1999. He also served two terms on the Cape Girardeau City Council from 2002 to 2010.

Former Cape Girardeau mayor Jay Knudtson said Herbst is a good fit for the position.

"As mayor, I can think of no more honorable or dedicated public servant," Knudtson said Monday. "He's a very calm and rational thinker and is not quick to make any kind of judgments. He listens to all sides of the issue."

The District 2 race has strong candidates that could serve as a nice reprieve from what he sees as past poor leadership, Knudtson said, without giving specifics.

Maurice "Moe" Sandfort announced in December that he will run for the seat. Sandfort is the recently retired president of Bank of Missouri and plans to run as a Republican, setting up an August primary with Herbst and possibly Purcell, if he chooses to seek re-election.

Sandfort could not be immediately reached at his home Monday evening.

Purcell has held the seat since 2004.

A message left on Purcell's cellphone was not immediately returned Monday evening.

Associate commissioners in district 1 and 2 are up for election this year. Other county positions up for election include sheriff, assessor, treasurer, public administrator and coroner.

Filing for county elections begins at 8 a.m. Feb. 28 and ends at 5 p.m. March 27.

psullivan@semissourian.com

388-3635

Pertinent address:

1 Barton Square, Jackson, MO

Map of pertinent addresses

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