Today is the filing deadline for Douglas County Kansas House seats assured Aug. 2 primary races for Republicans in the 46th and 45th Districts and for Democrats in the 46th and 47th Districts.
Two Republicans, two Democrats and a Libertarian have filed for eastern Lawrence's Kansas House seat being vacated by Rep. Betty Jo Charlton, D-Lawrence.
Beating today's noon filing deadline, Republican Clenece Hills, a South Junior High School language arts teacher, became the fifth candidate to file for the 46th District seat, which Chalrton has held since 1980.
"I believe that I bring to this campaign an open mind, a reasonable attitude and an absence of special interests," Hills said in a prepared statement.
Hills will face Eric Schmidt, a local stockbroker, in the Aug. 2 GOP primary.
Two Democrats will face off in a primary for that seat: Richard Small, who ran for that seat as an independent in 1990, and Troy Findley, who works at Kansas Democratic Party headquarters in Topeka.
Libertarian Ena Wheeler, a Kansas University junior, also filed for the seat Thursday. She could not be reached today.
Hills, who lives at 48 Winona, and her husband, James, a Haskell Indian Nations University instructor, own FairPlay Educational Services, a consulting practice.
Hills served on the Lawrence Board of Zoning Appeals, chaired the Douglas County Bicentennial Commission and coordinated the Haskell Centennial.
The flood of candidates for the seat began Wednesday, when Democrat Mike Amyx, a former Lawrence mayor and county commissioner, announced his decision not to run.
Charlton, who will turn 71 this month, said she would retire if Democrats could field a candidate.
Meanwhile, a Republican primary was assured in the 45th District with Thursday's filing of Tom Sloan, a local business consultant who has a sheep farm just west of Lawrence.
Sloan, who could not be reached this morning, will face Republican Wesley Glenn, a Goodyear employee who lives in Lecompton, for the 45th District GOP nomination.
The seat, which includes western Douglas County and several Lawrence precincts is held by Rep. Forrest Swall, D-Lawrence. Swall, who has been ill this week, filed late this morning at the secretary of state's office.
As of late morning, the secretary of state's office said Rep. Barbara Ballard, D-Lawrence, had no challengers in her bid to seek a second two-year term for western Lawrence's 44th District seat.
In area races, a Democratic primary has shaped up in the 47th District, which includes Jefferson County and northeast Douglas County. That primary will feature Democrats Robert J. "Bob" Shanks, Winchester, and Charlie Geist, Grantville. Incumbent Republican Joann Flower of Oskaloosa had no GOP challengers this morning.
In the 10th District, which includes southeast Douglas County, the only candidates were Republican Ralph Tanner, Baldwin, and Gene Ramsey, an Ottawa Democrat. Rep. Walker Hendrix, an Ottawa Republican who holds the seat now, is running for state insurance commissioner.