Barbara Buffaloe wants to be the next mayor of Columbia.
Buffaloe unofficially received 8,528 votes in Tuesday’s election, ahead of Randy Minchew’s 7,728, with all 34 precincts reporting.
David Seamon finished third with 2,930. Tanya Heath had 553.
After the final unofficial results came in, Buffaloe expressed her gratitude via Twitter:
“Wow – this is really happening. I am thrilled that you’ve chosen me as the next Mayor of Columbia. And I am completely humbled by the show of support today. A big sincere THANK YOU! Now, the real work starts – and I will work hard for ALL people in this city we love.”
More:April 5 election: What’s on the ballot, who is running for Columbia mayor and city council seats
Buffaloe has lived in Columbia for over 22 years and served as the city’s sustainability manager for 11 years before stepping down in May 2021.
Ahead of the election, she said she wanted to address issues including infrastructure, public safety and the proper utilization of American Rescue Plan Act funds.
“We need a mayor who has the experience of knowing how city government runs,” she said. “We need someone thinking about how we set the vision for the future.”
Heath, who was born and raised in Columbia, works as an adjunct professor of strategic communications at the Missouri School of Journalism. She has experience working as director of advertising for Mizzou Magazine and as a freelance writer.
Her campaign has been based on “common sense and collaborative solutions.”
“I am bringing forth successful ideas and a difference of opinion from a variety of people so that we can talk through the pros and cons of all the ideas,” she said.
Minchew has lived in Columbia since 1994 and is primarily known as a business owner. He works as vice president of business development at DeLine Holdings and serves on the board of directors for Phoenix Programs, a center that aids in addiction recovery.
He has campaigned under the same platform that was used when he ran for Sixth Ward city council — “for a safer, stronger Columbia.”
“I approach things with a bit of humility because there’s things you don’t know that you don’t know,” he said, touting his listening skills.
Seamon has lived in Columbia for 19 years and serves on the Columbia Board of Education as policy committee chair.
He has previously served in the United States Marine Corps. He is taking online courses to achieve an executive master’s in public administration from the University of Pennsylvania.
Important issues facing the city include affordable housing, public safety and a needed change to the existing public transportation system, he said.
Lauren Tronstad covers local government and politics for the Tribune. Contact her at LTronstad@gannett.com or on Twitter @LaurenTronstad.