MU student Andrew Hutchinson and professor Arthur Jago lose City Council bids

Incumbent Councilman Clyde Ruffin defeated Hutchinson in the First Ward, and Pitzer defeated Jago in the Fifth.

Three MU-affiliated candidates for City Council positions lost in Tuesday’s election, but incumbent First Ward Councilman Clyde Ruffin, an MU professor emeritus, was re-elected.

Ruffin defeated history and sociology student Andrew Hutchinson and administrative assistant Pat Kelley.

The election results were close in the First Ward, which includes all the students living on MU’s campus, Greektown and downtown. Ruffin received 475 votes, or 41.5 percent, and Hutchinson received 352 votes, or 30.7 percent. Kelley obtained 27.8 percent with 319 votes.

Kelley said she was “disappointed” in the voter turnout in this year’s election, but congratulated Ruffin in her concession speech she delivered at Glenn’s Cafe the night of the election.

“I had a really wonderful experience and wonderful supporters,” Kelley said. “I said in my concession speech at Glenn's Cafe this evening that I congratulated Clyde, but I did not envy him because this campaign has generated so many ideas and connections for me and others about what our ward and our city could become.”

Kelley will continue holding First Ward “office hours” for anyone who is interested.

Matt Pitzer, a portfolio manager for Shelter Insurance, was elected Fifth Ward councilman. Pitzer defeated Arthur Jago, a business management professor at MU. Pitzer won by a wider margin, receiving 1447 votes (57 percent) to Jago’s 1091 votes (43 percent).

Both Ruffin and Pitzer will serve a three-year term on the council.

As for his agenda for his next term, Ruffin already has ideas in mind. According to the Columbia Missourian, Ruffin plans to continue to push for racial equity in Columbia.

Despite the close election in the First Ward, voter turnout was low, with only 1,146 votes cast. Voter turnout in the Fifth Ward, which covers most of southwest Columbia, was considerably higher, with 2,538 votes in total.

Hutchinson earned more individual votes in his 2016 bid for Missouri Students Association president than he earned in his bid for the council’s First Ward seat. Hutchinson won 18 percent of the MSA vote, for a total of approximately 663 votes, just less than double his City Council vote count. However, he earned a higher percentage of votes in the City Council race.

Edited by Jared Kaufman and Nancy Coleman | jkaufman@themaneater.com and ncoleman@themaneater.com

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