A subsection in the state law governing elections has left the door open for Jerry Wilkerson to run as a write-in candidate for the open North Ward position on the Auxvasse Board of Aldermen, despite his felony record.
Missouri State Statute 115.350 disqualifies any person who has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to a felony as a candidate for elective public office, but section 115.305 states "this subchapter shall not apply to candidates for special district offices, township offices in township organization counties, or city, town and village offices."
"I thought I couldn't run, but felons can run for office, and they can vote," Wilkerson said, noting he had contacted the Missouri Secretary of State's Office for confirmation before filing just to be sure, which is why he missed the candidate filing date at the end of January and is running as a write-in. "I decided a little late. I put it off for years and years, but now that I'm retired, I can spend the time."
A familiar face at Board of Aldermen meetings, Wilkerson said he decided he wanted to run because he wants the opportunity to make change.
"I've been complaining about things that should be done and should be changed, and I thought, maybe I can get something done if I'm on the board," he said. "I've tried being a citizen, and that didn't work."
Wilkerson said the city "needs a lot of improvement."
"I feel like money is not being spent on the right issues and improvements, and there's a lot of overspending," he said.
According to online court records, Wilkerson's two felony convictions are for discharge of a firearm in February 2002 and for tampering with a witness in a felony prosecution in June 2002. He also is on the Callaway County Sheriff's Office sex offender list for "lewd and lascivious conduct with a child."