Municipal elections, such as City, County and School Board, have been historically non-partisan in the US. However, Republicans in Neosho, Missouri, are defying the spirit of the city charter. KRPS’s Fred Fletcher-Fierro has more.
Section 9.03 of the Neosho city charter reads, ‘The names of candidates for the Council shall be printed on ballots without party designation, and all election campaigns shall be conducted on a non-partisan basis.’ The sample ballot provided online by the Newton County registrar shows that there will be no political parties on the ballot next Tuesday, which is typical for municipal elections.
What is unusual is that the Republican Women of Newton County, spearheaded by Naomi Thomas-Baker, the wife of State Representative Ben Baker, are promoting six Republican candidates—campaigning as Republicans in municipal elections, which are supposed to be non-partisan, thus breaking Neosho City Charter. A handful of other candidates are running for both the city council and county health department seats without any political affiliation as mandated.