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BREAKING: Columbia’s first ward councilman recalled from office

Columbia city manager De’Carlon Seewood, Columbia Chamber of Commerce president Matt McCormick and first ward city councilman Nick Knoth were some of the dignitaries at the Orr Street park groundbreaking ceremony (June 22, 2023 file photo courtesy of Columbia Parks and Recreation spokeswoman Tammy Miller)

For the first time in more than 33 years, a Columbia city council member has been recalled from office.

First ward councilman Nick Knoth lost his recall race on Tuesday by a vote of 531-394. Mr. Knoth was elected to Columbia’s city council in April 2023 and since has taken a job as a lobbyist with the Missouri Realtors. Recall organizers in the first ward say Knoth’s job as a lobbyist with the Missouri Realtors was a conflict of interest with his elected position.

But Councilman Knoth disputed that, as does the Columbia Police Officers Association (CPOA). CPOA president Matt Nichols urged listeners to vote no on the recall, saying Councilman Knoth was targeted by those who support defunding and abolishing the police.

The last Columbia council member to be recalled from office was then-Councilman Chester Edwards in 1990, who supported the Colonies development on Forum.