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Lovelady files to challenge Skala in Ward Three

Roy Lovelady and Karl Skala both filed Tuesday to run for the Third Ward City Council seat.

Tuesday was the first day candidates could file for council seats. The deadline to file petitions is Jan. 11.

“I decided to run for City Council because a lot of things are happening throughout the city,” Lovelady said.

“I was in a protest group who was saying this needs to be fixed and that needs to be fixed,” he said. “In part of becoming the change I wanted to see, I decided to run for City Council.”

Lovelady is the founder of Peoples Defense, an organization that, according to its website, “works to harness and amplify community voices to right injustices at the local level through mutual aid, direct action and policy change.”

“People’s Defense is an organization that was originally started after George Floyd was killed,” Lovelady said. “We arranged protests that raised awareness of police brutality.”

“Since then, we do things like host voter events … . We feed the homeless, we raise awareness for any injustice throughout the city and try to right wrongs on a local level,” he said. “Basically, we try to go in and play superhero.”

In addition to running this organization, Lovelady has owned 360 Star Styling Studio on the Business Loop 70 for 16 years.

Skala did not return calls seeking comment on his decision to seek re-election.

Other candidates who had previously announced plans to run filed Tuesday. For mayor, those filing were Barbara Buffaloe, Tanya Heath, Randy Minchew and David Seamon. For the Fourth Ward council seat, filers were Erica Pefferman and Nick Foster.

Mayor Brian Treece and Fourth Ward Council member Ian Thomas had previously announced they would not seek re-election.

According to earlier Missourian reporting, candidates running for the Third or Fourth wards must meet specific qualifications:

They must be registered as residents and voters of the ward they intend to represent at the time of filing their petitions.

During their terms as council members, they shall not hold any other public office or lucrative positions.

They must obtain at least 50 signatures from registered voters and residents of the same ward.

Candidates for mayor, who are elected citywide, must obtain at least 100 signatures from registered voters and Columbia citizens to be eligible.

The election will take place April 5.

The Columbia Missourian is a community news organization managed by professional editors and staffed by Missouri School of Journalism students who do the reporting, design, copy editing, information graphics, photography and multimedia.