Before a meeting on Monday, ten Cape Girardeau residents were angling to fill a ward 3 vacancy on the city council. That number has now been whittled down to three applicants: Tom Roy, Nate Thomas, and Christina Mershon.
Roy, a medical practice manager at SoutheastHEALTH, is an alumni of Southeast Missouri State University, and has called Cape Girardeau home for the last 19 years.
“[I] don’t have any special interests, don’t have any special agendas,” he said. “Just hoping the skills I've accumulated over the last 30 years can help.”
He also described himself as a “big proponent of the parks,” and voiced interest in tightening up rules for landlords - particularly those who rent to college students.
Thomas, a physical therapist at St. Francis Hospital, said although he isn’t a Cape Girardeau native, he and his family are now “deeply rooted and integrated” in the city.
“Perhaps I would say my strongest attribute I would bring the council is my background in government relations,” Thomas said. Not only has he worked with Congress and multiple committees, but he’s also worked with various government agencies.
The third candidate, Christina Mershon, said she offers a “diverse” skill set developed in her position as director of continuing education at Southeast Missouri State University.
Mershon said that, while improvements are being made on Town Plaza and other select areas across town, there are still “major problems that need to be recognized.”
“Last week, guys, we had a shooting there. It kind of concerns me that no one is mentioning violence and some of the systemic problems. That’s heavy on my brain and my heart,” she said. “Because while we go forward and we’re really making strides, we’ve got to figure out what’s going on in the underpinning to address that stuff.”
She likened the potential to run to a “dating situation” - she might not run for the ward seat after her time as replacement would expire. She wants to see how well the position works for her.
Ward 3 was made available when the former representative Victor Gunn resigned on July 8th.