City Council and mayoral candidates, including Springfield Mayor Ken McClure, center, wait to enter the room at the National Avenue Christian Church for a candidate forum sponsored by Neighborhood Advisory Council (NAC) on Tuesday, March 7. (Photo by Jym Wilson)

Political action committees, business leaders and some labor unions are all invested in the upcoming changeover of the Springfield City Council.

Six persons are running to replace three outgoing council members, and Springfield Mayor Ken McClure faces a challenge from Galloway Village community organizer Melanie Bach. All told, donors have put more than $290,000 toward the eight candidates running in the municipal election April 4.

In terms of dollars, the Springfield Good Government Committee is the most heavily invested political action committee in the election.

According to its website, the Springfield Good Government Committee is a partnership of the Springfield Chamber of Commerce and the Home Builders Association of Greater Springfield. It has a separate governing board than the chamber of commerce, and is registered with the Missouri Ethics Commission as a political action committee. 

The Good Government Committee has a platform with four planks: economic development, education and workforce development, governing principles rooted in local control and public safety. The committee has endorsed Ken McClure for mayor, Callie Carroll for General Seat C, Derek Lee for General Seat D and Abe McGull for Zone 2. 

The Good Government Committee makes up 16.1 percent of Citizens For Ken McClure’s campaign contributions in 2023.

Mayor: Ken McClure vs. Melanie Bach

In his bid for a fourth and final consecutive term as Springfield’s mayor, Ken McClure has raised $125,706.62 in monetary and in-kind donations. As of March 27, the campaign spent $86,133.30.

Much of the McClure campaigns expenses are to Victory Enterprises, a campaign consulting firm based in Davenport, Iowa. That includes $59,916 worth of television production and advertising currently running on Springfield NBC affiliate KY3. 

Springfield Mayor Ken McClure. (Photo: provided)

McClure received more money than any other candidate from the Good Government Committee. The PAC made a $5,000 monetary contribution and a $10,291.66 in-kind contribution to the McClure campaign in March, bringing its grand total to $20,273.72 in 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.

McClure has also received $10,000 in contributions from the Lincoln PAC, a Springfield-based political action committee organized by Dale Replogle in 2018, originally to support Lincoln Hough’s bid for the Missouri Senate.

The Columbia-based SWMO Forward PAC gave $5,000 to the McClure campaign. Ethics Commission records show the PAC received $10,000 from Rapid Robert’s CEO Robert Wilson. The McClure campaign got $7,000 from the Coalition for Building a Better Tomorrow, which lists its chairman as Springfield home builder Sam Bradley. The PAC’s address matches that of the Home Builders Association of Greater Springfield.

Citizens for Ken McClure received an in-kind donation of $1,430.90 from outgoing City Councilman Richard Ollis.

Springfield mayoral candidate Melanie Bach. (Photo by Rance Burger)

Melanie Bach for Mayor took in $6,590 in the last 32 days, and another $11,383 worth of in-kind contributions, for a total of $17,973. All told, the Bach campaign has raised $30,178 for the election cycle.

Heavy Construction Laborers Union No. 663 Political Action Committee made the in-kind contribution to Bach’s campaign. The PAC is headquartered in Kansas City. It produced a mailer on card stock that touts, “Melanie is proudly endorsed by Springfield’s working families.”

Some of Bach’s big expenses include $1,725 for billboard advertising and $3,964.58 for postage. Her campaign also spent a total of $3,455.59 for signs.

PACs were two of Bach’s key donors in March. The Springfield Building and Construction Trades PAC gave $1,500, and the Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 178 gave $1,000.

Derek Lee, City Council General Seat D candidate, speaks at the Neighborhood Advisory Council’s City Council and Mayoral Candidate Forum on March 7, 2023. (Photo by Jym Wilson)
Bruce Adib-Yazdin, City Council General Seat D candidate, speaks at the Neighborhood Advisory Council’s City Council and Mayoral Candidate Forum on March 7, 2023. (Photo by Jym Wilson)

General Seat D: Derek Lee vs. Bruce Adib-Yazdi

Derek Lee for Council received a combined total of $52,713.73 in cash and in-kind contributions. Lee brought in $27,116.67 in contributions from late February to March 27, and has spent $26,134.13.

Lee received an in-kind contribution of $6,666.67 from the Springfield Good Government Committee, bringing the total he has received from the PAC to $16,348.73. 

Some of Lee’s other key financial contributors, at $1,000 each, included: retired Great Southern Bank President Bill Turner; Southwest MO Professional Firefighters PAC; engineering firm owner Justin Wallace; real estate developer Matthew Miller; Elliott Lodging president Gordon Elliott; contractor Steve Eoff; Rapid Robert’s gas station CEO Robert Wilson (listed as retired on the Ethics Commission forms); and engineering firm owner Patrick Crocker. Lee also received a $2,400 in-kind services contribution in outdoor advertising from Curtis Jared, named on the Ethics Commission forms as “Jared Curtis.”

Lee’s primary expenses were to Iowa-based Victory Enterprises, a campaign consulting group. The campaign made four payments to Victory Enterprises from March 8 to March 22, totalling  $3,997.73.

Architect Bruce Adib-Yazdi has brought in $12,244. His campaign generated $10,894 in donations from Feb. 24 to March 27, and Adib-Yazdi did it without a single contributor giving more than $875 to his campaign.

Rather than attracting big donors, Adib-Yazdi has been stacking pennies. Ethics Commission documents show the campaign reimbursed the candidate on two occasions for expenses for signs and door hangers, plus $63.50 worth of gasoline to drive to a St. Louis print shop to pick up signs.

The Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 178 gave $700 to Adib-Yazdi’s campaign. Former Springfield Mayor Bob Stephens gave $100, and City Councilman Craig Hosmer gave $200. A&B Cycle owner Christopher McNeese was Adib-Yazdi’s largest single donor at $875.

David Nokes, City Council Zone 3 candidate, speaks at the Neighborhood Advisory Council’s City Council and Mayoral Candidate Forum on March 7, 2023. (Photo by Jym Wilson)
Brandon Jenson, Zone 3 candidate for City Council, speaks at the Neighborhood Advisory Council’s City Council and Mayoral Candidate Forum on March 7, 2023. (Photo by Jym Wilson)

Zone 3: David Nokes vs. Brandon Jenson

Urban planner Brandon Jenson takes on retired Springfield police officer David Nokes to represent southwest Springfield. Their fundraising efforts have been about even.

Jenson raised $9,008 in contributions over the past month, bringing his campaign’s total to $10,478 in contributions. Jenson’s largest donor was the Mid-America Carpenters Regional Council Missouri-Kansas City Area PAC, at $2,500. Jenson also received a $1,000 monetary donation from the Heavy Construction Laborers Local Union No. 663 PAC.

Jenson’s biggest expense was $627.52 for yard signs, printed in Springfield at the Copy Shoppe. His campaign, Brandon Jenson for SGF, also spent $374 for flyers.

Nokes For Council took in $1,000 in in-kind contributions from real estate developer Curtis Jared of Jared Management and $1,070 in monetary donations from Feb. 19 to March 25. Nokes got $500 from State Bank of Southwest Missouri President Tom Fowler, and another $500 from Nixa retiree Dana Crowder.

In all, the Nokes campaign raised $11,704.04 in contributions and spent $6,166.75 as of March 27.

Heavy Construction Laborers Local Union No. 663 PAC gave $6,370 in in-kind contributions to Brandon Jenson on March 25.

General Seat C: Callie Carroll vs. Jeremy Dean

City Council “General C” seat candidate Callie Carroll, left, listens to her opponent Jeremy Dean answer a question. (Photo by Jym Wilson)

The Heavy Construction Laborers Union No. 663 PAC also made mailers for Jeremy Dean, who is running for a general seat on the Springfield City Council.

Dean self-funded $1,500 to his own campaign on Feb. 22. He also received a $1,500 contribution from Drew Lewis Foundation founder and CEO Amy Blansitt on March 20. The Dean campaign took to the outdoors and spent $740 for billboards and a combined $2,810.44 for signs.

Dean raised $5,340 over a span of 25 days from Feb. 24 to March 20. Dean For Springfield’s receipts add to $6,315, and the expenses as of March 27 were $3,665.43. Dean is also the treasurer of his own campaign.

Callie Carroll has outraised her opponent almost seven times over, bringing in a total of $43,893.73 for the election. More than $27,500 came in between Feb. 24 and March 27.

The Springfield Good Government Committee made a $6,666.67 in-kind contribution to Citizens for Callie Carroll, bringing its total to $16,348.73 to the Carroll campaign for the election cycle.

Jared Outdoor Media partner Kevin Doolittle is listed as making a $4,662 in-kind contribution to the Carroll campaign.

In terms of cash, Carroll got: $3,000 from the Coalition for Building a Better Tomorrow; $2,000 from SRC CEO Jack Stack; $2,833 from Advance, a Springfield PAC dedicated to advancing female candidates for office; $1,000 from Elliott Lodging owner Gordon Elliott; and $1,000 from retired Missouri State University athletic director Bill Rowe, Carroll’s campaign treasurer.

Expense reports show Carroll’s campaign spent $13,000 with Victory Enterprises for radio advertising, $9,982.06 for mailers, $1,950.12 for signs and $1,297.20 for cards to hand out to people.

Zone 1 and Zone 2: Monica Horton and Abe McGull unopposed

Springfield City Council Members Abe McGull and Monica Horton at the Neighborhood Advisory Council’s City Council and Mayoral Candidate Forum on Tuesday March 7, 2023. (Photos by Jym Wilson)

The Committee to Elect Monica Horton spent $126 for postage and $219.22 on yard signs in mid-March. The transactions bring the committee’s expenditures to $1,713.57 for the election cycle.

Horton was appointed to serve northwest Springfield April 12, 2022. This is her first attempt at running for a full term, and she has no opponent.

Zone 2 Councilman Abe McGull is also unopposed in his run for reelection. McGull’s campaign committee filed a statement of limited activity with the Missouri Ethics Commission eight days before the election, meaning the committee did not have any significant contributions, nor did it make any significant expenses that are required by law to be reported.

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