Who are the candidates on the ballot for Springfield City Council? And who has endorsed and donated to them?
There are 14 candidates running for mayor and four open seats on the Springfield City Council.
Two of the open council seats represent the entire city, while one open position represents Zone 1 in Springfield's northwest quadrant and the other represents Zone 4 in the southeast.
Here's an overview of who is running in the order they will appear on the ballot. For more in-depth information about the candidates and their policies, go online to news-leader.com.
Ken McClure (Incumbent)
Background: McClure, 70, has been mayor of Springfield since 2017. He grew up in Springfield and lived here much of his life. For 25 years, he left for Jefferson City where he served in several roles, including chief of staff and transition director for Republican Gov. Matt Blunt and chair of the Missouri Public Service Commission. McClure returned to Springfield and worked at Missouri State University as a vice president before retiring in 2015.
Endorsements and financial backers: McClure has been endorsed and financially supported by the Greater Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce and Home Builders Association's Good Government Committee. He has also received endorsements from the Southern Missouri Professional Firefighters, Springfield Police Officers Association and Greater Springfield Board of Realtors.
McClure also received financial contributions from community notables including Zone 3 Councilman Mike Schilling, Ozarks Technical Community College Chancellor Hal Higdon and Missouri State University President Clif Smart's Chief of Staff Ryan Deboef.
Background: Aton, 32, grew up in Springfield and the surrounding area, graduating from Ozarks Technical Community College and getting his Bachelor's at Missouri State University. He currently works in marketing.
Endorsements and financial backers: Aton's biggest donors are local dermatologist Raffaele Pennella, who is the husband of Springfield school board candidate Maryam Mohammadkhani. A family member also chipped in, as did several other local donors.
General Seat A
Background: Aton, 28, is a Russian teacher at Missouri State University's language institute and has volunteered with Ozarks Technical Community College's adult education and literacy program. He also grew up in Springfield and the surrounding area. His brother is Marcus Aton.
Endorsements and financial backers: Roughly half of the contributions to Alexander Aton's campaign came from family members, but he also has support from local people in various other professions, including real estate and business.
Background: Burnett, 31, is a department manager for an education retailer in Springfield, but he's no stranger to local politics. Burnett served on the Springfield City Council previously but resigned in 2016 citing the mental health toll of working, going to school and spending time on council responsibilities. Now, he said he's ready to get back in the game and bring a new perspective to the city's governing body.
Endorsements and financial backers: Burnett has funded most of his own campaign, but he was the only candidate to score an "A+" on a survey from a local group of renters, Springfield Tenants Unite. He also was the only candidate to get the highest possible grade on a survey from the Springfield NAACP's Economic Justice Task Force.
Background: Allen, 63, is a certified public accountant and was the chief operating officer for several companies in the Springfield area, including being a franchisee of QDOBA restaurants in southwest Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma.
Endorsements and financial backers: Allen was backed by the Springfield police officers union. He received financial contributions from many smaller donors, including Councilwoman Jan Fisk, whose seat Allen is trying to take over after she announced she wouldn't run for another term.
Background: Hardinger, 34, is a workforce and development consultant for a national education nonprofit. She moved to Springfield about 15 years ago and has gotten involved with various community organizations. She is the chair of the Mayor's Commission on Human Rights, which investigates claims of discrimination.
Endorsements and financial backers: Hardinger is endorsed and has received money from the the chamber and home builders' Good Government Committee. She also received an endorsement from the Greater Springfield Area Board of Realtors and got monetary support from prominent community members including Mother's Brewing Company owner Jeff Schrag, former councilman Dr. Tom Prater, current Councilman Richard Ollis and CoxHealth CEO Steve Edwards. Hardinger was also endorsed as "best in class" based on her responses to the local NAACP chapter's Economic Justice Task Force.
General Seat B
J. Michael Hasty
Background: Hasty, 34, is a disabled veteran who served in Iraq and does security consulting and private contracting in Springfield.
Endorsements and financial backers: Hasty received campaign contributions from various community members, including local real estate agent Heather Dietz, Mercy physician John Lilly and one Godfather's Pizza franchise.
Background: Brown, 48, was born and raised in Springfield where his family ran grocery stores for more than 50 years. After being in the grocery business himself, Brown shifted in recent years to real estate. He has been part of the group behind building BoomerTown near the Missouri State University campus, the Galloway Creek development in Galloway and the Greenway Studios apartments near Drury University and OTC.
Endorsements and financial backers: Brown has been the biggest fundraiser for council so far, receiving more than $89,000 in contributions. Most of those donations have come from builders, developers and real estate investors and agents, but he has also received the endorsement and money from the chamber of commerce and home builders association. Brown also was endorsed by the Greater Springfield Board of Realtors.
Craig Hosmer (Incumbent)
Background: Hosmer, 62, is a local attorney who has been on council since 2013. Before that, he served in the Missouri legislature representing the 138th House district from 1990-2002.
Endorsements and backers: Hosmer received campaign contributions from a number of unions, including the Springfield police and firefighters' unions, which gave him their endorsement. Hosmer also received endorsements from several attorneys and from the Springfield Building and Construction PAC. He was also identified as a "tenant champion" by the advocacy group Springfield Tenants Unite.
Background: Romine, 47, is a massage therapist who owns HALO Massage and Wellness on East Sunshine Street. She moved around a lot with her husband during his career in the military, but said they eventually decided to settle in Springfield because it "felt like home."
Endorsements and backers: Romine's biggest donors were the dermatologist Pennella, who also supported Marcus Aton's campaign, and the Greene County Republicans' central committee chair Danette Proctor.
Isabelle Jimenez Walker
Background: Walker, 59, is a real estate broker/owner who works with several community organizations. She has served on local, state, regional and national Realtor associations and women's councils and currently works with the Community Partnership with the Ozarks' Housing Collaborative, Springfield NAACP and Springfield North Rotary Club.
Endorsements and backers: Walker was endorsed by the Greater Springfield Area Board of Realtors. She contributed all of the roughly $1,600 she raised to her own campaign.
Matthew Simpson, incumbent
Background: Simpson, 35, grew up in Springfield and his lived here most of his life. He currently works as OTC's chief research officer and was one of the founders of local clothing company Five Pound Apparel.
Endorsements and backers: Simpson has been endorsed by the Good Government Committee, the Southern Missouri Professional Firefighters, Springfield Police Officers Association and Greater Springfield Board of Realtors. He received money from the Good Government Committee, as well as notable donors including current Councilman Andrew Lear.
Background: Kauffman, 63, is the owner of a local video production company.
Endorsements and backers: Kauffman hadn't reported any outside financial contributions beyond incurring $4,700 in costs from his own video production company, but his campaign treasurer is Galloway resident Wendy Baker Huscher, who owns a photography business and is a vocal opponent of a proposed development along Lone Pine Avenue across from Sequiota Park.
Background: Kalapathy, 58, is currently writing a book about linguistics and has worked in adult education and customer training. She has lived in Springfield since 2001 and graduated from both Missouri State University and Evangel University.
Endorsements and backers: Kalapathy received an endorsement from Springfield Tenants Unite and was also identified as "best in class" based on her answers to a survey from the NAACP's Economic Justice Task Force. In campaign disclosures, she filed a "limited activity" notice, meaning she had received fewer than $500 for her campaign.
Katie Kull covers local government for the News-Leader. Got a story to tell? Give her a call at 417-408-1025 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also support local journalism at News-Leader.com/subscribe.