Incumbent files for re-election to Lawrence school board

At least one Lawrence school board member will seek a second term in office.

John Mitchell filed late Thursday afternoon at the Douglas County Clerk’s office.

Mitchell said the district will faces challenges in the next few years with the state’s budget situation and a new superintendent coming in to replace longtime district employee Randy Weseman, who retires at the end of the year.

“I just strongly feel that we’re in a budget situation this year where the board is probably going to have to make some very difficult choices in the future,” Mitchell said. “I just feel that continuity will be helpful.”

He was first elected to the school board in 2005.

Mitchell is a longtime employee of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. He was promoted in 2008 to be the director of the agency’s division of environment.

Mitchell’s wife, Pam Mitchell, is a second-grade teacher at Deerfield School. They have two children, Taylor, a junior at Free State High School, and Matt, a sixth-grader at Quail Run School.

The seats currently held by Mitchell, Craig Grant and Linda Robinson are up in the April 7 election.

Robinson has said she was not planning to seek a third term, and Grant has said he would make an announcement in the next week.

Other than Mitchell, the two candidates to officially file so far are Vanessa Sanburn, a Kansas University graduate student in social work, and Tom Hartley, a territory representative for Forest Pharmaceuticals and a former Douglas County Democrats chairman.

The filing deadline is noon Tuesday.