By MATT HOPF
Herald-Whig Staff Writer
A Quincy resident will have to decide by next Monday if he wants to run for mayor or alderman in the 3rd Ward.
Rich Nichols, 36, who works for Colony, Inc., filed as a Republican for both positions Monday, the final day petitions could be turned in for next year's municipal elections. City Clerk Jenny Hayden said election law prohibits a candidate from running for two positions simultaneously, so Nichols will have to decide by next Monday which office he wants to pursue.
If he doesn't, Hayden said, Nichols' name will be eliminated from the ballot entirely.
"During that time, I will assess the support that I have and make a complete decision within that time frame," Nichols said.
If Nichols runs for mayor, he would face 3rd Ward Alderman Kyle Moore in the Feb. 26 primary election. Moore filed his petitions last week. Democratic incumbent John Spring also filed petitions to run for a third term.
If Nichols runs for alderman, he would face Ken Hultz, owner of Hultz's We Care Auto Care, and FedEx employee Jared Holbrook in the primary. Democrat Mike Martin also filed petitions to run for alderman in the 3rd Ward.
There also will be a contested race for city treasurer. Tom Ernst, a businessman and member of the Quincy Park Board, filed as a Republican to challenge Democratic incumbent Peggy Crim, who was first elected to the post in 2001.
Ernst, 56, initially pulled petitions to run as an alderman in the 3rd Ward, but said he received encouragement to run for citywide office instead.
"There's already three Republicans wanting to run as aldermen," Ernst said. "I just decided to do what the people were encouraging me to do and run for treasurer instead of the alderman position."
Ernst said he did not have any problems with Crim, but he thought a couple things could be changed in the office, although he declined to elaborate.
Ernst was elected to a four-year term on the Park Board in 2011. He previously served on that board from 1993-2005. He made an unsuccessful attempt to unseat state Sen. John Sullivan in 2004.
Crim, 55, said in a statement that she considered Ernst a friend and was surprised to see him file petitions, but welcomed him to the race.
"The city treasurer's office is a nonpolitical office," she said. "It's not Democratic money or Republican money — it's the taxpayer's money. With the help of the office staff, I think we have done an excellent job of upgrading the capabilities of the office to collect, invest and protect taxpayer dollars in trying economic times.
"I think people want a hardworking financial professional handling their money who believes in standing for public review and accountability every day, and I have been proud to do that for nearly 12 years."
Also filing were incumbent aldermen Tony Sassen and Mike Rein. Sassen was first elected to the 4th Ward seat in 2005. Rein was appointed to the 5th Ward seat in 1999 to fill the remainder of Dave Hummel's term. He was elected to a full term in 2001 and has since been re-elected twice.
The only other contested race is in the 1st Ward, where Democratic incumbent Alderman Virgil Goehl is being challenged by Republican Ronnie McKenzie.
Independents who wish to run in the city elections can file from Dec. 17-24.
Petitions have been taken out by Roger Davis, who plans to run for mayor, and Jonathan Schoenakase, who said he will seek an aldermanic seat in the 5th Ward. To run as an independent, candidates must collect signatures totaling 5 to 8 percent of votes cast in the last election for the specific office.
Mayor: Democrat John Spring, Republican Kyle Moore, Republican Rich Nichols
City Clerk: Democrat Jenny Hayden
City Treasurer: Democrat Peggy Crim, Republican Tom Ernst
Alderman 1st Ward: Democrat Virgil Goehl, Republican Ronnie McKenzie
Alderman 2nd Ward: Democrat Dave Bauer
Alderman 3rd Ward: Democrat Mike Martin, Republican Jared Holbrook, Republican Ken Hultz, Republican Rich Nichols
Alderman 4th Ward: Republican Tony Sassen
Alderman 5th Ward: Republican Mike Rein
Alderman 6th Ward: Republican Dan Brink
Alderman 7th Ward: Democrat Jack Holtschlag
Township Supervisor: Republican Cindy Brink
Township Assessor: Democrat Roy Points