COLUMBIA, Mo. - The incumbent and a high-profile challenger have filed to run in Columbia's April mayoral election.
Mayor Brian Treece and former state representative Chris Kelly each submitted their applications Tuesday, the first day of filing for Columbia's elected offices. Over the weekend Fourth Ward Councilman Ian Thomas said he also planned to file for re-election. Thomas did not turn in his petition on the first day of filing, but incumbent Third Ward Councilman Karl Skala did.
Treece, who owns a lobbying firm with his wife, was first elected in 2016. In addition to state representative, Kelly has been a Boone County clerk, a judge and a chairman of the state's Labor and Industrial Relations commission.
"Columbia needs steady leadership to continue the progress we've made," Treece said in a written statement. "In the last three years we've added over 1,000 new jobs, strengthened our neighborhoods, and restored confidence in a government that is open, honest and transparent. But there is still more work to do."
Kelly in a statement released Monday said he is running because of a loss of confidence in the city government and its leadership.
"Columbia need not reflect the divisiveness that has come to define our state and nation," Kelly said. "We can work together -- not against each other -- as we face our problems head on."
To file for mayor candidates must turn in a petition with at least 100 signatures from voters registered in the city. Fifty signatures are required for other council candidates. Filing ends Jan. 8.