Mayor Ken McClure speaks at the Neighborhood Advisory Council's City Council and Mayoral Candidate Forum on March 7, 2023. (Photo by Jym Wilson)

Voters chose Ken McClure to hold Springfield’s top elected office for two more years.

McClure fended off a challenge from Galloway Village community organizer Melanie Bach to win a fourth consecutive term as the Springfield mayor. McClure secured 53.18 percent of Springfield’s vote to Bach’s 46.82 percent. McClure notched 10,484 votes.

“I expected a close election, and that was why I focused my campaign as I did,” McClure said. “It was a positive campaign. I’m proud that we were able to keep a positive message and focus on what was so important to us.”

With 57 of 57 precincts reportingVotesPct.
Ken McClure (incumbent)10,48453.18%
Melanie Bach9,23246.82%

McClure said he viewed the results as an affirmation for his efforts up until now.

“Obviously, we’ve had very contentious issues in this city,” McClure said. “I want to make sure that I represent all of the community — those who voted for me, those who did not vote for me. As we look ahead, we’ve got so much potential coming for us as a city, and I want to make sure that we honor that.”

McClure campaigned by championing concepts of the Forward SGF 20-year comprehensive plan for Springfield, and said he is excited to continue with its implementation.

“We’re going to focus again on issues such as housing needs, economic vitality, the workforce development, all of those that are going to tie in,” McClure said. “Those are issues which are very closely held by a lot of people.”

McClure was elected to the Springfield City Council in 2015, and then elected mayor in 2017. He was elected to a third term in April 2021, and that term expires in April 2023. The Springfield City Charter allows a mayor to serve a maximum of four two-year terms. McClure is in his third term, making the term from 2023 to 2025 his last opportunity to be mayor for at least one election cycle.

McClure worked as a transition director and then chief of staff for Gov. Matt Blunt in the mid-2000s. He also served as a staff director and budget analyst for the Missouri Senate Committee on Appropriations from 1974-1981. He has been known to use connections in Jefferson City to meet with state lawmakers on matters concerning Springfield.

A total of 19,716 voters cast ballots in the mayoral election, eclipsing the 2021 turnout of 15,600 voters.

Challenger Melanie Bach rose to prominence during a ballot referendum election involving the Galloway Village neighborhood in November 2022.

Bach led a citywide campaign against a referendum zoning measure for Elevation Enterprises’ property on Lone Pine Avenue. More than 70 percent of the 46,616 Springfield voters who cast ballots Nov. 8 voted against Springfield Question 1, a referendum question that would have rezoned 4.2 acres of land in the 3500 block of South Lone Pine Avenue. The referendum zoning proposal met overwhelming defeat, with 32,862 voters saying, “No.”

She then turned her attention toward campaigning to be Springfield’s next mayor, resigning from her job as a records clerk in the Greene County Sheriff’s Office in order to do so.

McClure campaign raised more than $125K

Poll workers from Cox deliver ADA-compliant ballots to the county elections center on April 4, 2023. (Photo by Jym Wilson)

As of March 27, eight days prior to the election, Missouri Ethics Commission records show McClure’s campaign raised $125,706.62 in monetary and in-kind donations. As of March 27, the campaign spent $86,133.30. Most of the McClure campaign expenses are to Victory Enterprises, a campaign consulting firm based in Davenport, Iowa. That includes $59,916 worth of television production and advertising on Springfield NBC affiliate KY3. 

McClure received more money than any other candidate from the Springfield Good Government Committee, a partnership of the Springfield Chamber of Commerce and the Home Builders Association of Greater Springfield. The PAC made a total of $20,273.72 in monetary and in-kind contributions to Citizens For Ken McClure in this election cycle.

Some of McClure’s $1,000 contributors include TLC Properties founder Sam Coryell, O’Reilly Auto Parts vice chairman David O’Reilly, H Design Group principal Robert Haik, Esterly Schneider and Associates partner Craig Schneider and developer Royce Reding. McClure got a $2,000 donation from SRC CEO Jack Stack.

Rance Burger

Rance Burger is the managing editor for the Daily Citizen. He previously covered local governments from February 2022 to April 2023. He is a graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia with 15 years experience in journalism. Reach him at or by calling 417-837-3669. Twitter: @RanceBurger More by Rance Burger