Kirkwood City Council shooter’s nephew running for seat

KIRKWOOD, MO (KPLR) – The nephew of the man who shot and killed five people and wounded two others during a 2008 city council meeting in Kirkwood is now running for city council.

Jayson Thornton hosted a meet and greet with voters inside a Kirkwood Restaurant on Sunday.  He told voters his campaign is about one Kirkwood moving forward.  He told us voters should not hold him responsible for his uncle’s actions.

Jayson Thornton went on to talk about how the Thornton family had a reputation for being involved in their community.

“In fact my grandfather, George Thornton, was known for walking the streets of Meacham Park picking up trash,” said Jayson Thornton.

He also said his uncle was involved in the community before he went on a shooting rampage.

“One event that I had nothing to do with shouldn’t make me run from the name that my mother and my father gave me,” said Jayson Thornton.

Thornton was able to get on the April 8th ballot by collecting more than 100 signatures in 2 days.

“That’s when I knew I should run,” said Thornton.

Kirkwood Mayor Arthur McDonnell says he’s heard from people concerned over the family connection.  McDonnell is telling voters to focus on the issues and the future.

“We have four great candidates, and I think they should look at all of them from the quality and qualifications they all have,” said McDonnell.

The candidates include Paul Ward, Tim Griffin and Bob Sears.  Each of the three has either served on the council in the past or currently holds a position on the council.

Election Day is April 8th.  The top 3 vote-getters will win a spot on the council.

Paul Ward wishes his opponent well and does not think his family connection should be a part of the campaign.

“I think he can get across his message,” said Ward.

Ward encourages voters to focus on the candidate’s qualifications and achievements.

“What is your knowledge of your community, what are your issues, if there are changes you’d like to make, how do you think you are going to make those happen,” said Ward.

A candidate forum will be held Monday at 7 p.m. at the Kirkwood Recreation Center, 111 S. Geyer, Kirkwood, MO 63122.

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