Cape businessman Wicks files for mayor at deadline

Wednesday, November 21, 2001

Stan Wicks, a Cape Girardeau businessman who lost a bid for state representative last year, filed for mayor just under the wire Tuesday, setting up a four-way race to replace Al Spradling III.

Wicks, 39, filed 10 minutes before the 5 p.m. deadline Tuesday at City Hall. He will face banker Jay Knudtson, former city councilman Melvin Gateley and Walter White, who works at Superior Essex Co. in Sikeston.

The men will square off on the city's first mayoral primary since 1986 on Feb. 2 to whittle the number to two before the April 2 general election.

Wicks said that his reasons for wanting to run for mayor are the same as when he ran for a seat in the Missouri General Assembly.

"I just really like Cape Girardeau," Wicks said, adding that others had suggested he run for mayor. "I know I can do the job."

Return to campaigning

Wicks said that his 2000 defeat to Jason Crowell for the 158th District seat left no bitter feelings.

"I like Jason," Wicks said. "I really think that the best man won. He's doing a great job. I've invited him over. I've had dinner with him."

Wicks -- who describes himself as dedicated and hard working -- is the owner of several businesses: General Maintenance Co., which offers construction and maintenance services; Helpers Moving and Storage; and At Your Service, a portable toilet provider.

Wicks also owns four rental houses and a commercial rental unit on Minnesota Street. He said it's his long acquired business sense -- he began building his businesses 16 years ago with his wife, Debbie -- would make him a good mayor.

"I have knowledge about how to run a business and the city is somewhat of a business," he said. "But my bottom line is about helping the city become better."

Wicks also serves on the City's Board of Examiners, which oversees licensing for skilled trades.

Wicks said if the city is lacking in any way, it's in its ability to recruit new industry. Industries bring jobs, which also bring in more tax revenue.

Wicks is proud of his life in total, but he says he is not proud of his decade-old felony conviction and subsequent prison term, which was an issue in his race last year.

In April 1990, Wicks pleaded guilty in Cape Girardeau Circuit Court to driving while intoxicated. Because it was his third DWI conviction in less than three years, he was charged with the class D felony as a persistent offender.

Bad decision

A judge sentenced Wicks to four years in prison but placed him on probation. Later that year the judge found that Wicks had violated his probation when he was discovered driving although his probation stipulated he couldn't drive at all.

Wicks had not been drinking in that instance, but the judge sent Wicks to the Western Missouri Correctional Center near Cameron, Mo., where he served two years of his sentence before being paroled.

"I made decisions as a 20-year-old that the man I am now would never make," said Wicks, who said he has not had a drink in 10 years. "It was immaturity."

As for those who may not vote for him because of his past, Wicks again is candid: "What do they say about walking a mile in a man's shoes? I just want people to know if I'm elected, I could do the job."

smoyers@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 137

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