Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Roller not running for council seat; McDaniel, Simoff join other incumbents in race; former signed latter's papers

John McDaniel and Steve Simoff in City Hall, where they hope to serve.
Seven people are running for the six seats on the Midway City Council, but the council will have at least one new face because Dan Roller did not join the other council members in filing for re-election.

The non-incumbents running are Steve Simoff, who filed last week, and John McDaniel, who entered on Tuesday, the filing deadline. Incumbents Steven Craig, Sarah Hicks, Bruce Southworth, Libby Warfield and Kaye Nita Gallagher filed last week.

Because fewer than 13 candidates filed for the six council seats, there will be no primary election. The non-partisan election will be held Nov. 8.

Mayor Grayson Vandegrift is not up for re-election this year because mayors serve four-year terms. Council members serve two-year terms. Roller told the Messenger that he is not running because three terms is long enough for him.

McDaniel, who lives in the 100 block of West Stephens St., is well known in Midway as the local correspondent for The Woodford Sun and a former police officer. Simoff, who lives in the 400 block of Merrywood Drive, is a racing steward and judge. Both are 66 years old.

McDaniel, on Jan. 12, was the last of 12 people to sign Simoff's nominating petition. The first signer, on Jan. 9, was Helen Rentch, followed by Judy and Crittenden Rawlings on Jan. 11.

McDaniel said in an interview that he had already decided to run when he signed Simoff's petition, and didn't consider that a contradiction because "There's more than one seat."

He said he is running because "I've got ideas [of running] for some other office, not mayor," and wants to see how he can do. He declined to reveal his longer-range plan, but said, "I've probably been to more city council meetings than all of them put together. I started going when I was 10." His father, John William McDaniel Jr, was Midway's sole police officer for years.

McDaniel's brother, Jim, was the first to sign his petition, followed by Amanda and Ken Glass.

Simoff said he and McDaniel are friends, and "I knew that he was going to run," but that had nothing to do with asking him to sign the petition. "I think the people in the town respect him, and I respect him," he said.

Simoff said he moved to Midway in the 1980s and recently opened Horse Country Cottage, a vacation rental, at 424 S. Winter St. He said he has wanted to be on a city council since he was a child in Orient, Iowa, population 400, and his father took him to council meetings.

Asked why he is running, Simoff said, "I don't have any qualms with anybody who's on" the council. "I just want to take my time as a public servant if the public wants me to serve."

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