With an election for Independence's four district seats on the City Council looming in April, two incumbents have declared their intentions to run again, and the status of two others remains unknown.
John Perkins and Tom Van Camp, who represent generally the northwest (District 1) and southwest (District 4) areas of the city, each say they plan to run for another four-year term. In District 3, Scott Roberson said he is undecided, while District 2 Council Member Curt Dougherty said his decision will be known only when the candidate filing deadline passes.
The first day interested candidates can pick up packets, which include the forms to gather the necessary signatures to get on the ballot, is Sept. 17. The deadline to file to run is Nov. 20.
The council elections are on April 7, 2020. If needed – more than two candidates running in a district – the primary elections would be Feb. 4.
Perkins is in his second stint on the council. He represented District 2 for two terms starting in 1996, then won the District 1 seat in 2016.
“I'm always constantly thinking about those decisions,” Perkins said about considering re-election. “There's been some good groundwork laid (in the city), and I want to help in securing those foundations.”
“And I wanted to consider if it would make sense for my family, because it's a lot of time commitment. I want to be able to give the time to be a good council person.”
Van Camp won a special election in 2014 for the District 4 seat after Eileen Weir was elected mayor. He then ran unopposed for a full term in 2016.
“I've enjoyed the time I've served on the council,” Van Camp said. “I'd like to continue to build on the progress I've made.”
Roberson joined the council in 2014 and then won a full term in 2016. He said he is still mulling whether to run for another term. His district is in the southeast part of the city.
Dougherty, a former state representative, won election to the council in 2012 and again in 2016, representing the northeast area of the city.
When asked by The Examiner, he declined to say one way or another or even that he was undecided. Instead, Dougherty said, “You will know when the filing deadline passes.”
A few citizens have used social media to declare their plans to run for council election, including Chris Heitzman in District 4 and Dan O'Neill and Kenneth Love in District 3. O'Neill ran for state representative last year.