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KBIA is covering the municipal elections for Columbia, Jefferson city and the surrounding area. See our voter's guide to the Columbia elections for more.

Three candidates compete in Centralia's mayoral race

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Tim Grenke has been Centralia’s mayor for two full terms but now faces two challengers in the mayoral race: Ward One Alderman Catherine Simmons and Ward Three Alderman Farris Sanders. Grenke works as a safety specialist in the National Guard. He says he welcomes the challengers.

“A contested election, I think, is better for politics. Because it-it gets more of the issues out there. And I think that being able to articulate what your concerns are is important.”

Catherine Simmons garnered support as a write-in candidate against Grenke during the 2011 election. If elected, she says she hopes to use her experience as an alderman and board member of the Centralia Regional Economic Development committee as mayor. She says emergency preparedness and serving the community are two of her top priorities.

“Right now we’re living in some very dynamic times and I want to work with the citizens here and our city administration to keep this a great place to live and work and raise a family.”

Ward Three Alderman Farris Sanders, the third mayoral candidate, was unavailable for comment.