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Mayor Pro Tem Ken McClure announces his 2017 campaign for mayor at SMC Packaging Group.
Mayor Pro Tem Ken McClure announces his 2017 campaign for mayor at SMC Packaging Group.

Ken McClure announces mayoral run

Posted online

Last edited 11:33 a.m., Aug. 24, 2016

Flanked by members of Springfield’s business elite, Ken McClure this morning announced his campaign for mayor in 2017.

Mayor Pro Tem McClure, who retired last summer as Missouri State University’s vice president for administrative services, made the announcement at SMC Packaging Group, 900 N. Belcrest Ave. He was joined by SMC Chairman and CEO Kevin Ausburn, Transmission Access Policy Study Group Executive Director John Twitty, BKD LLP Managing Partner John Wanamaker, Elliott Lodging Ltd. owner Gordon Elliott, current Mayor Bob Stephens and fellow council member Mike Schilling, as well as representatives of the Springfield Association of Firefighters and the Springfield Good Government Committee. 

“I will work for good jobs, for safe neighborhoods and a safe city,” McClure told a crowd of around 50 at SMC’s warehouse. “Together, let’s invest in a brighter future for an already bright community.”

A former associate general manager for City Utilities and chief of staff for Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt, McClure ran unopposed in April 2015 for General Seat D, the City Council position that was vacated by Mike Carroll. During that election, voters also selected former state Rep. Schilling over incumbent Jerry Compton for the Zone 3 seat and incumbent Mayor Stephens.

Current Councilwoman Kristi Fulnecky is the only other announced candidate so far. She also was picked by voters in April 2015. Stephens is not seeking re-election next year.

McClure, Stephens and Schilling were among six council members who met late last year in a closed meeting to discuss Fulnecky’s eligibility to serve in the elected position because of business taxes she owed when elected.

In July, council members voted to accept as fact a report from attorney Kevin O’Keefe that Fulnecky was ineligible to run for office.

The report stated council can vote to remove Fulnecky, pass the decision on to voters or let the Missouri attorney general or Greene County prosecutor weigh in. No actions have been taken.

Fulnecky’s attorney, Joseph Passanise of the Law Offices of Dee Wampler and Joseph Passanise PC, has disputed the claims, particularly as to whether the payments owed - which Fulnecky paid in October - were even taxes. He has made the distinction they were fees.

Fulnecky’s campaign for mayor raised over $100,000 in the second quarter, according to her campaign Facebook page.

"Thousands of hard-working, everyday individuals have already joined our campaign for change," Fulnecky said in a statement provided to Springfield Business Journal this morning. "I am humbled by their support and look forward to the campaign ahead."

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