Archive for Wednesday, April 6, 2005

Mayoral races, school bond issues top state’s ballots

Election officials say gay marriage drew voters to Tuesday’s polls

April 6, 2005


— Joe Reardon, son of former Kansas City, Kan., Mayor Jack Reardon, won election Tuesday as the next mayor of the Unified Government of Kansas City, Kan., and Wyandotte County.

According to unofficial final results, Reardon won the race with 15,874 votes to 11,087 for former State Rep. Rick Rehorn. Reardon, a lawyer and member of the Unified Board of Commissioners, will replace Mayor Carol Marinovich, who decided not to seek a third term.

Elsewhere, Carl Gerlach defeated Neil Sader in the mayor's race between two Overland Park City Council members. Gerlach received nearly 62 percent of the vote. He would replace Ed Eilert, who retired after 24 years as mayor of Kansas City's largest suburb.

Gerlach, the marketing director at a supplier of promotional items, has served on the City Council since 1995. Sader is a bankruptcy lawyer who has been on the council since 1990.

In Topeka, Bill Bunten, a former legislator, defeated Lisa Stubbs, a City Council member, in the mayor's race, where the job has been vastly reduced. Bunten won, with 17,595 votes, to Stubbs' 14,050, with 99 percent of the vote counted.

Bunten, 74, the owner of a building management firm, served 30 years in the Legislature and ran unsuccessfully for mayor in 2001. Stubbs, 43, is finishing her first four-year term on the council.

In November, voters approved a change in Topeka's government giving authority for daily operations to a city manager, making the mayor's job largely ceremonial.

County election officials were expecting a higher turnout because of the statewide constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage.

School bond issues

Nearly a dozen school districts are seeking approval of multimillion bond issues for new construction and technology improvements. The largest on the ballot was in Lawrence, where voters approved $63 million for computers, a rebuild junior high school and refurbishing other buildings.

"Anytime we can squeeze any money for education we ought to take it," said Kenneth Brumley, 44, an electrical worker who voted for both measures.

Other school bond issues were on the ballot elsewhere in the state.

El Dorado voters approved issuing $19.1 million in bonds for improvements at the high school, but rejected measures for improvements at the middle and elementary schools. Independence voters were narrowly defeating a $22.9 million school bond issue, according to late returns from Montgomery County.

Lansing voters were approving their bond issue, with about two-thirds of the votes counted. The Frontenac issue, which will build new school facilities, was passing with about a with a 2-to-1 margin, according to late results.

Results from bond elections in Paola and Parsons were unavailable.

Gambling, sales tax

Crawford County voters also overwhelmingly supported two advisory measures designed to assess support for expanding gambling in southeast Kansas. The questions on the ballot are intended to gauge support for video lottery terminals and a destination casino in the county, as proposed in a bill pending in the Legislature.

A quarter-percent sales tax increase for schools was on the ballot in Riley County, where Manhattan officials hoped to boost a sagging education budget and maintain staffing. Voters approved the measure by a 2-to-1 margin with all precincts reporting.

Also, voters in Finney, Ford, Gray and Hodgeman counties were considering a 0.15 percent sales tax to fund the development of the 450-acre Horse Thief Reservoir and 1,100-acre park near Jetmore. The measure was passing, 8,817 to 5,240, with all but Hodgeman County reporting.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.