Ginny Chadwick drops candidacy for Boone County Commissioner

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COLUMBIA - Former city councilwoman Ginny Chadwick announced Tuesday she would not run for the Boone County Commission, just six days after announcing she would be a candidate.

Chadwick spoke to KOMU 8 News about her decision and cited current UM System rules which prevent university staff from running for full-time office. She is a graduate assistant at the school and therefore considered a staff member.

Starting April 1, the rules will change in wording to say "employees" rather than "staff" cannot run for full-time office.

Chadwick said, since graduate students are not considered employees of the university,  she should be able to run.

But, Paul Maguffee of UM System Legal sent Chadwick an email saying the rule would still apply to her as a graduate instructor after the change.

"I don’t believe the change in wording in Section 330.050 was intended to narrow the scope of the rule," he wrote,  "so I don’t think we’d be safe to assume that a graduate instructor falls outside the rule after April 1. I think the considerations behind the rule still apply. I’m aware that the employment status of graduate assistants has come up in discussions related to collective bargaining, but I don’t think the discussions in that context determine whether Section 330.050 applies to graduate instructors."

Chadwick said she thinks the university's treatment of graduate students is inconsistent.

"It's just been disappointing that the university has chosen to apply the term employee to graduate students when it works for them, and to apply the term not-employee to graduate students when it works for them," Chadwick said. "We receive W2s. In every essence of the term we're an employee, and therefore we should also receive the recognition and benefits of being an employee."

Chadwick served on the Columbia City Council during her time as a graduate student. She said this was possible because a position on city council is only considered a part-time position, and the rule only applies to full-time offices. 

Chadwick said she is not done with politics, and she would still like to run for local office if the opportunity presents itself.

"I don't think I've ever stepped out of local politics," she said. "But I found out today I wasn't running for commissioner, it's very hard to say what I'm doing tomorrow, you know, in the long term."