Four people announced their campaigns for Springfield Mayor and three city council seats during a small event on the steps of historic city hall.
Marcus Aton announced his campaign for mayor, while his brother Alexander Aton is running for General Council Seat A. J. Michael Hasty is running for General Council Seat B, and Craig Kauffman is running for the Zone 4 seat.
“I feel our city council is deaf to the needs of the city,” Hasty said during the event. “That they no longer represent us, the citizens, and I am a citizen that wants to be your voice on the Council.”
Hasty has appeared at Council meetings speaking vehemently against the city’s mask mandate, claiming it is a violation of his Constitutional rights and once called the Council an authoritarian government with allusions to Saddam Hussein’s regime.
“I did not go overseas in 2007, fight in Baghdad, Iraq, watch my friends die in the desert to help overthrow a oppressive regime, totalitarian government, to free people to come home and bow down to an authoritarian government here at home,” Hasty said at the August 24, 2020 Springfield City Council meeting.
During his time speaking at the announcement event, Alexander Aton took aim at the current Council in his comments.
“We’re out here because there are two visions for Springfield,” Alexander Aton said. “The first vision, represented by people who are inside this building right now, calls for lockdowns, calls for division, calls for Springfield to be fighting amongst one another, for there to be more crime in our streets, for bullets to be flying into people’s homes like we’ve seen recently.”
“The other vision represented by the people who are standing on these steps is a unified Springfield,” Aton continued. “A Springfield where our children can go out the front door of our homes without parents having to fear for them. A Springfield where we can have small businesses that will work with our community instead of just keeping the big box stores open while the rest of us have to scratch a living off rocks. We want a Springfield for the people who live here, a Springfield for our local businesses, and a Springfield that is unified.”
Marcus and Alexander Aton are the sons of Meike Aton, a Rogersville resident but Springfield business owner who appeared before the Springfield City Council during their September 8th meeting to speak against the masking mandate, comparing the results of Council’s actions to those of Nazi Germany.
Alexander Aton also recently attacked the Springfield NAACP for their efforts to get the city to lift restrictions on homeless residents using tents within the city. Despite the letter sent to City Council being signed by only local citizens including local NAACP members and local church bodies like The Connecting Grounds and Brentwood Christian Church, Aton called them “out-of-towners” who were not “actually helping the homeless.”