Marshall man wants to bring 'open government' as mayor
Russell Donnell filed on Friday, Feb. 23, for the Tuesday, April 3, mayoral race for the City of Marshall as a write-in candidate.
He plans to bring an open city government to Marshall and responsible fiscal spending.
"A government that keeps its citizens in the dark is not a government for the people," Donnell said in an interview Monday, Feb. 26.
Donnell started thinking about running for mayor about two weeks ago after the purchase of land for the Marshall Civic Center/Nicholas-Beazley Museum.
"I was concerned about the purchase of the Duggins land and the way it was handled by the city government," Donnell said.
The land purchase for the civic center/museum included 8.84 acres for $337,500 from Ralph Duggins.
Donnell moved to Marshall when he was nine months old. His father was stationed in Australia and his mother was an "Australia war bride." He was born in Ipswich, Queensland in Australia.
Donnell graduated from UMKC and has been a pharmacist since 1968. He retired from a pharmacist position he held for almost 19 years at the Marshall Habilitation Center. He has also been a reserve lieutenant for the Marshall Police Department for 30 years.
Donnell was retired about three weeks from the Marshall Habilitation Center and decided to take a part-time job at AutoZone, located at 820 W. College. "I am doing something totally different than in the past and I am loving it." He works Monday through Wednesday and has the rest of the week off.
He is active in the First Christian Church and has been a past deacon, elder and treasurer. He has coached the Optimist Little League baseball team and been a leader of Cub Scouts.
Donnell owns a certified tree farm in northern Pettis County. There are 125 acres and 35 of those acres are CRP ground. "We have planted over 5,000 trees," Donnell said. Trees that are on the farm are mostly Walnut and Oak but there are also some Christmas trees.
Donnell and his wife, Mary Kay, have two children and four grandchildren. Their son, Mike Donnell, lives in Marshall and their daughter, Jeannie Kennington, lives in Springfield.
If elected mayor, Donnell plans to keep people informed and will listen to the community's opinions. "I will try to make the most honest decision," Donnell said. "I believe the people need a choice on April 3."
Contact Rachel Harper at