In the first week that Independence citizens can first pick up packets to run for the City Council next April, 20 possible candidates have taken that step, including all four incumbents.
Getting a packet of election materials does not mean someone will file to run. Under the City Charter, one must gather 100 signatures from registered, qualified voters in the district to file as a candidate.
Council members John Perkins (District 1, generally the northwest part of the city) and Tom Van Camp (District 4, the southwest area of the city) had previously declared that they’re running. Scott Roberson (District 3, southeast) said last month he was still deciding, and Curt Dougherty (District 2, northwest) said his intention would only be clear on the last filing day, Nov. 20. Candidates can start filing Oct. 28.
Seats in all four districts are up for election in April. If more than two candidates file in a district, there will be a primary election Feb. 4.
Besides the incumbents, citizens showing initial interest in the council races include:
• District 1: Karl Blair.
• District 2: Amy Perez, Grant Watkins Davis, Brice Stewart and Bradley Mudd.
• District 3: Kenneth Love, Dan O'Neill, Michael Steinmeyer, Jessica Podhola, Celeste Matthys and Nick Huff.
• District 4: Chris Heitzman, Daniel Hobart, Shaun Gondran, Joshua Crocker and Catie Alexander.
Podhola and O'Neill have recently run for the Missouri General Assembly, and Crocker ran for the City Council five years ago. Stewart has been a candidate in a variety of city and county elections.
For voters, the last day to register to vote in the Feb. 4 primary election is Jan. 8. The last day to register for the April 7 general election is March 11.