Two more candidates filed for the three open offices Tuesday, bringing the total to eight. That automatically prompted a primary, mandated when there are more than six candidates for the three seats open on the five-member, nonpartisan board. The primary will be Feb. 27; the general election on April 3.
The two new candidates are Kansas University senior Jennifer Chaffee and Lawrence resident Jimmy Lee Bricker.
Chaffee, 27, a political science major, portrayed herself as an outsider seeking to shake up city government. The commission, she said, has "an appalling lack of representation for a large portion of the city's residents.
"The city commission is five males, older gentlemen, all set in their careers," she said. "That's not Lawrence."
The lack of diversity, she said, means the commission responds slowly, if ever, to resident concerns about bike lanes or tax abatements.
Chaffee said she is a "social liberal and economic conservative" who favors privatizing city services, like the new bus system, where possible.
"I just don't think the government should be paying for that," she said. "It could be profitable for companies that want to do it, and we wouldn't have to give them a tax abatement."
Bricker, 24, is a maintenance worker for Cedarwood Apartments. He said he is running to control the city's growth.
"I think Lawrence is growing out of control," he said. "There's too much. We're expanding too fast."
Bricker, who has lived in Lawrence since 1995, said the city commission should act to protect local businesses from national companies like The Gap and Abercrombie & Fitch. He also wants to inform Lawrence consumers about companies that use sweatshop labor, although he's unsure of the commission's role in that regard.
"I think the city commission is a good forum for a lot of these issues," he said.
The other candidates so far include all three incumbents: David Dunfield, Erv Hodges and Marty Kennedy.
The challengers who have filed are Scott Bailey, Craig Campbell and Sue Hack.
The filing deadline is noon Tuesday.
-- Staff writer Joel Mathis can be reached at 832-7126.