Treece elected mayor by 52 percent of votes

He will serve a three-year term.
“I Voted” stickers sit on a table at the Columbia Public Library polling location for voters to grab after they submit their ballots April 5 in the municipal elections.

On a windy and chilly Tuesday afternoon, students on campus made short walks to their designated polling places to cast votes in the Columbia general municipal election. Tuesday’s ballot included single issues, Third Ward and Fourth Ward elections and, most notably, the vote for mayor.

Garnering 52 percent of votes, candidate Brian Treece was elected mayor against Skip Walther.

The decision by current Mayor Bob McDavid to not seek a third three-year term, after capturing 2013’s re-election with over 60 percent of the vote, brought mayoral hopefuls Treece and Walther to the forefront.

Both McDavid and Hindman recently endorsed Walther, while Treece picked up endorsements from the Columbia firefighters and public works unions. Treece also received an endorsement from the Police Officers’ Association, in an election that community safety and policing has been a major issue.

According to his campaign website, Treece prioritizes neighbor safety, infrastructure and transparency of tax dollars.

“As an advocate for economic development projects, transportation needs, health care providers, law enforcement issues, energy and environmental issues, Brian Treece has spent his entire adult life working to create solutions to tough problems through people working together,” his campaign website stated.

Treece is currently the chairman of the Downtown Leadership Council. The MU graduate previously served as chairman of the City of Columbia’s Historic Preservation Commission.

Treece did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

Senior John Becker arrived at Paquin Tower, a polling place representing many local student housing locations, just after noon. By that time, poll workers said about a “half dozen” students had already cast their votes.

Becker, who voted in multiple prior elections, said he was casting his first Columbia Mayoral vote for Walther.

“I was taping the mayoral debate that they had a couple weeks ago, and so I got a good chance to check out the candidates,” said Becker, a production assistant at KMIZ. “ I really liked the ideas that he was bringing to the table.”

Voting in her first mayoral election, sophomore Megan Tyminski said she voted for Treece.

“I think he’s got a lot of roots in the community, and understands how students feel about housing in downtown Columbia,” Tyminski said.

According to the Missouri Ethics Commission, Treece spent $55,165.46 on this election, almost $14,000 more than Walther, and had just over $6,000 remaining cash on hand eight days before the election. Treece and Walther have $10,000 and $5,000 debts to repay, respectively.

Edited by Hailey Stolze | hstolze@themaneater.com

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