McGull & Simpson Unopposed For City Council; Mayor & Ollis May Be Challenged

As the deadline to register for the April City Council and Mayoral election has passed, two men will run unopposed while the Mayor and one council member could have a challenger.

Abe McGull (photo from his Facebook page)

Assistant U.S. Attorney Abe McGull will become a member of city council after being the only candidate to file for the seat being vacated by Councilman Tom Prater. McGull was encouraged by Prater to run for the Zone 2 position and previously served as Mayor of Pleasant Valley, a Kansas City suburb.

Joining McGull in the unopposed category is current Zone 4 Councilmember Matthew Simpson. Simpson was appointed to council in March 2018 after Craig Fishel resigned to run for the state legislature. Simpson is the director of research, strategic planning and grant development at Ozarks Technical Community College.

“My focus will continue to be on doing the best job for our community,” Simpson told OI. “I’m thankful for the opportunity to keep serving with my colleagues on Council and I’d encourage everyone to vote in April.”

Mayor Ken McClure could be facing one opponent for his seat. Eric Wood filed before the deadline to take on McClure in the Mayor’s race but Wood’s application is pending certification by City Clerk Anita Cotter.

McClure became mayor in 2016, defeating former councilwoman Kristi Fulnecky. Wood is an Army veteran and local mechanic.

General Seat D Councilman Richard Ollis is in the same position. Larry Flenoid II filed to run against Ollis and his certification is pending. Ollis was appointed to city council in May 2017 and will be running for his first full term. He assumed McClure’s seat on Council when McClure became mayor. He was the co-founder of the Springfield Good Government Committee.

Flenoid stated on a Crowdpac fundraising page for his campaign: “#Flenoid is coming, we creating change, and we will succeed. You know why? Cause my god gave me the will, the way, and he with me, to go against that? You will always fail. The change is here. The love is here, and you better get ready…….”

Councilman Schilling (photo from his Zone 3 Facebook page)

The race for Councilmember Zone 3 will have the incumbent Mike Schilling against Noah Snelson. Schilling has served since 2015 and is an American government instructor at OTC. Snelson is a former police officer who describes himself on Twitter as “Christian, Husband, Father, Former Police Officer, Conservative, Patriot.”

Three candidates will be running for the General C Seat. Incumbent Andrew Lear will face Jaye Owens and Amy Champlin. Lear replaced Kristi Fulnecky in October 2018 and will be running for his first full term. Lear is a retired partner from BKD who has served as the chairman for the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce.

Jaye Owens is an LGBTQ activist and writer. She posted on a Crowdpac campaign fundraising page: “Springfield needs voices on the City Council who see every resident as equally important.  Springfield needs government who knows that we can’t make progress by leaving people behind.  Springfield needs strong voices who support equality, opportunity, and human rights for all people without exception, and those voices should be sitting in Council Seats, not just on commissions.”

Amy Champlin is a central committee member for the Greene County Democratic Party.

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