With just a week and a half left for filing for the April 8 municipal election, the Sedalia City Council Ward 1 seat finally has a contender.
Former Pettis County Deputy Juvenile Officer and Sedalia Police Department Sergeant James Cunningham filed Monday for the seat that will be left open as incumbent Steve Galliher is filing for the open mayoral position.
“It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a while and with the lack of any candidates coming forward it kind of pushed me a little to do it,” Cunningham said. “I’ve lived and worked in Sedalia almost all of my life and I’d like to see it keep moving in a positive direction.”
Cunningham is currently the Criminal Justice Program Coordinator at State Fair Community College, as well as the division chair of the Science, Agriculture, Criminal Justice and Wellness programs. Because of his background, public safety is one of his top priorities, he said, but he was also concerned with ongoing infrastructure needs as well as keeping the city financially stable. As for one of the more recent controversial topics council has decided on — enacting the smoking ban — Cunningham said he agreed with the measure.
“I’m not necessarily in favor of big government telling us what we should do but from a health standpoint I think it was a good decision,” he said. “It was something we needed and I don’t have any issues with the way council voted (on the measure.)
“I’ve lived here a long time and have worked in public service a long time, I’m used to giving back and I think (being on council) is just the next step in that.”
Cunningham will appear on the ballot with Ward 2 incumbent Wanda Monsees; Don Meier, running for Ward 3; and Ward 4 incumbent Tollie Rowe. Currently all seats are running unopposed. Galliher will take on Sedalia resident John Fritz in the mayoral race.
Those interested in filing for mayor must be at least 30-years-old, a citizens of the U.S. and a resident of the city for at least two years. Mayoral candidates must collect 100 signatures and pay a $100 fee to file. City council candidates must be at least 21-years-old, a citizen of the U.S., resident of the city for one year and resident of their ward for six months. Candidates must collect 25 signatures and pay a $50 fee.
Filing is open, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday until Jan. 21 at the Municipal Building. For more information call 827-3000.