Two file quickly for Cape mayor

Wednesday, October 24, 2001

Jay Knudtson didn't have to get up early Tuesday to become the first candidate to file for Cape Girardeau's April elections.

The mayoral candidate spent the night outside City Hall awaiting the 8 a.m. opening of the clerk's office.

"A college professor told me it was very important to be first on the ballot," said Knudtson.

Charlie Herbst, a former community service officer with the Cape Girardeau Police Department, was the first candidate to file for the Cape Girardeau City Council. Herbst arrived at City Hall about 4:30 a.m. and filed for the Ward 2 seat when the clerk's office opened.

"I was glad to see Charlie," said Knudtson, who staked out a spot behind City Hall about 9 p.m. Monday. "I'd been catching up on my reading and watching television."

By 9:30 p.m. Monday, he had an easy chair, table, and portable TV. Knudtson, an executive vice president at Bank of America, filed for the seat being vacated by Mayor Al Spradling III. Spradling is in his second four-year term and is being forced out by term limits.

Knudtson has served the past eight years as chairman of the city Parks and Recreation Advisory Board.

"I'm looking forward to the campaign," he said. "I've been attending council meetings since the day I announced. I'm eager to work with citizens who care about the city's future."

Walter White filed for mayor about two hours after Knudtson.

White purchased the former Ratliff's Grocery Store at 1007 S. Sprigg in 1998. The store is closed, but he said he hopes to reopen it early next year.

A native of Hayti, Mo., White has worked at Superior Essex Co. at Sikeston for 13 years.

"I'm running as a working man and an independent," said White, who is making his first run for public office.

Former councilman Melvin Gateley said Monday he will file as a candidate for mayor sometime this week.

Herbst remains a reserve police officer and works at Innovative Idea Integration in Jackson, Mo., in sales and marketing. Herbst was a city police officer for 10 years.

"Now that I'm not working for the city, I want to stay involved," the Ward 2 candidate said.

Ward 2 Councilman Tom Neumeyer and Ward 6 Councilman Richard "Butch" Eggimann can't seek re-election because of term limits. No one filed Tuesday for the Ward 6 seat.

Ward 1 Councilman Frank Stoffregen, a Realtor, who filed Tuesday for a second term, faces opposition from business woman Evelyn Boardman, who also filed.

"I have a keen interest in local issues," said Boardman. "And I've always had a good working relationship with City Hall. I believe that I can bring an objective and positive perspective to the council."

Boardman operates Madder Rose Accents & Antiques in downtown Cape Girardeau.

"My husband and I were longtime partners in working for the revitalization of the downtown area, and following his death in 1999, I started to look at city government participation through the City Council seat as an avenue of service to the community," she said.

The terms of Ward 3 Councilman Jay Purcell, Ward 4 Councilman Hugh White and Ward 5 Councilman Matt Hopkins don't expire next year.

The deadline to file for the available seats is 5 p.m. Nov. 20.

rowen@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 133

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