OUR OPINION: Too many city elections remain uncontested

The latest change in filing for Jefferson City offices resulted in fewer candidates.

Stu Murphy’s withdrawal from a contest for a Fifth Ward seat on the City Council leaves four of the five available council seats uncontested.

Unless additional candidates file before the 5 p.m. Tuesday deadline, only three of the eight elective offices to be decided in 2011 will be contested.

As of Friday afternoon, those races include:

-A mayoral contest between Eric Struemph, Fourth Ward councilman, and George Hartsfield, a former mayor and Third Ward councilman.

-A First Ward race between Bob Weber, the appointed incumbent, and challenger Tyler Woods.

  • A three-person contest for city prosecutor that includes Renee Godbee, Brian Stumpe and David Barrett.

City elections are non-partisan. If more than two candidates file - as in the prosecutor’s race - a February primary determines which two candidates advance to the April general election.

Uncontested filings include:

-Shawn Schulte for the Second Ward seat being vacated by Jim Penfold’s retirement.

-Incumbent Bryan Pope’s bid for re-election in the Third Ward.

-Carlos Graham for the Fourth Ward seat being vacated by Struemph.

-Ralph Bray as the remaining candidate for the Fifth Ward seat left open by Ron Medin’s retirement.

-Cotton Walker for municipal judge.

Jefferson City now is involved in a number of initiatives that could bring dramatic changes to the landscape and environment of our city.

City government has been championed as progressive and condemned for inertia. It has been applauded for initiatives and derided for interference. It has been called visionary and criticized for wasteful spending.

The window to replace talk with a willingness to act remains open. But not for much longer; it closes with Tuesday’s filing deadline.

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