Governing bodies, potential candidates look toward April elections

Monday, December 3, 2012

Individuals interested in being Jackson's next mayor, or serving on its board of aldermen, will have a chance to file for office in less than two weeks. The filing period for April municipal elections in area cities will open Dec. 11.

Jackson Mayor Barbara Lohr will end her second two-year term in April and is eligible to run again. A board of alderman seat in each of Jackson's four wards will also be on the ballot. Term length for alderman is two years.

Only one city council seat will be up for election in Cape Girardeau -- the Ward 6 council seat vacated by Kathy Swan, the new state representative for Cape Girardeau.

The city council will appoint a replacement for Swan and a special election will be held to determine who will fill the remainder of her term. The council has not yet set the date for that election but could do so at tonight's meeting. Filing to run for a city council seat usually begins earlier than in other cities because the Cape Girardeau city government is run by charter. But with next the election being set late, the filing dates will be later -- starting Dec. 18 and closing Jan. 15.

The only person who has publicly expressed interest in Swan's vacated seat is Southeast Missouri State University history professor and Southeast Missourian columnist Wayne Bowen.

Cape Girardeau voters also will decide in April whether bow hunting for deer will be allowed within the city limits.

Various positions on boards in fire protection and water districts, and seats on the Cape Girardeau County Public Health Center board and seats on municipal boards in Bollinger, Perry and Scott counties, also will be available.

School boards will be offering two seats each for three-year terms. In Cape Girardeau, the terms of Paul Nenninger and Philip Moore are expiring. Without term limits for school board members, both are eligible to run again.

April's elections will give local governments the opportunity to place ballot questions before voters. Several counties, including Bollinger, Cape Girardeau, Perry and Scott, are weighing whether to ask voters to approve a "use" tax since local sales taxes no longer can be levied on out-of-state vehicle purchases. The cities of Cape Girardeau and Perryville also could place use taxes on the ballot.

Voting bodies of local governments have until Jan. 22 to certify ballot questions with county clerks for placement in the April election.

The filing period for candidates closes Jan. 15. Filing locations and requirements for candidacy depend on the entity offering the position and can be obtained by contacting the county clerk's office in the county where each potential candidate resides.


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