Cape council sets election for Ward 6

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The contest to become the next member of Cape Girardeau's city council could begin setting up as early as Wednesday now that the council has set a special election.

The council passed a resolution during its regular session Monday that will place the election for April 2, although the event could be only a primary depending on the number of candidates who file.

Kathy Swan, who has served Ward 6 since 2010, is resigning to begin her first term as a state legislator.

The city's charter mandates that the council appoint a replacement and hold a special election for a person to fill the remainder of the term, which ends in 2014. There is no formal process for the city to find an appointee, who is allowed to run for the seat. Voters in Ward 6 ultimately will choose their next representative.

Candidacy filing opens Dec. 18 and ends Jan. 15 and requires a certifiable petition signed by 50 registered voters in the ward along with residency and age requirements. Petitions will be available from the city clerk's office beginning Wednesday.

Only one person, Wayne Bowen, chair of the history department at Southeast Missouri State University, has publicly expressed interest in replacing Swan through appointment and election. In hopes of retaining the seat for a woman when Swan leaves, Ward 4 councilwoman Loretta Schneider is attempting to reach out to potential female candidates in Ward 6, she said Monday.

If more than two candidates file, April's election will serve as a primary. A general election would be held in August. April's election will combine with a ballot question on whether the city should allow bowhunting for deer.

* On Monday, the council also approved changes that will make city ordinances match recently revised state laws.

One change will allow more bars to open on Sunday, nixing a requirement that stated businesses must have 50 percent of sales of prepared meals or food to be able to sell liquor on Sundays, while the other will allow businesses licensed to sell alcohol-by-the drink to begin serving at 9 a.m. instead of 11 a.m.

eragan@semissourian.com

388-3627

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