Daniel Rickenmann, the longtime Columbia City Councilman who currently represents District 4, has formally thrown his support behind attorney Sara Middleton in the race for an at-large seat on Council.
The at-large race is one of three on the ballot for the Nov. 5 municipal election. In that race, incumbent Howard Duvall is facing Middleton, refugee services coordinator Dylan Gunnels and former victim's advocate Amadeo Geere.
Rickenmann's endorsement for Middleton came via a recording that has gone out to potential voters.
"Sara Middleton has the experience and the energy to help me on City Council, not only to promote and to recruit new investment in Columbia, but to make sure our government is more responsive to our basic needs like public safety and public works, along with making sure our hard-earned tax dollars are protected," Rickenmann says in the recording.
The endorsement is of note in that it represents a sitting Council member endorsing a challenger — and in the case of Middleton, a first-time candidate — rather than an incumbent colleague.
Rickenmann, a conservative member of the nonpartisan body, has been on Council for a number of years. He was an at-large member from 2004 to 2012 before leaving to focus on business. He later returned to Council as a representative in District 4, following the death of Councilwoman Leona Plaugh.
Middleton also has received an endorsement from Bakari Sellers, the former Democratic state representative and current CNN pundit.
Also on the ballot Tuesday will be races in District 2 and District 3.
In District 2, the largely African American district in the north and north central section of the city, incumbent Ed McDowell is taking on activist and author Catherine Fleming Bruce and businesswoman Anna Fonseca.
Over in District 3, in the central and southeast portion of Columbia, incumbent Moe Baddourah is trying to fend off educator John Loveday and design firm owner Will Brennan.
Earlier this week Free Times published a comprehensive look at all three races.