Archive for Tuesday, January 27, 2009

No primary needed, but 8 will vie for school board, city commission seats

Not enough file to require primary

Not having a primary will save $40,000, officials say.

January 27, 2009


The scorecard is set for upcoming city commission and school board races.

Eight candidates filed for three at-large seats on the Lawrence City Commission, while eight candidates filed for three seats on the Lawrence school board.

Candidates had until noon on Tuesday to file for election.

For the city commission election, it will be a new type of ball game. This year’s election will mark the first time in recent memory that there won’t be a primary. Officials with the Douglas County Clerk’s office searched records back to the 1950s and had yet to find an election where a city commission primary wasn’t held.

“I’m pretty confident in saying that it has been a long time,” County Clerk Jamie Shew said.

The eight candidates who filed before the deadline are:

• Mike Amyx, a downtown barber shop owner and the lone incumbent to file for re-election.

• Price Banks, a Lawrence attorney who previously served as the city’s director of planning from 1982 to 1994.

• James Bush, a sales and marketing professional for Maceli’s, a downtown caterer.

• Dennis Constance, a custodial supervisor at Kansas University and a former city commissioner in the late 1980s.

• Aron Cromwell, the owner Cromwell Environmental, a downtown environmental consulting firm.

• Lance Johnson, the owner of the Peridian Group, a Lawrence-based civil engineering firm.

• Tom Johnson, the student adviser and general manager of KJHK, a Kansas University radio station.

• Gwen Klingenberg, president of the Lawrence Association of Neighborhoods.

The field guarantees at least two new faces on the five-member City Commission. Incumbents Sue Hack and Boog Highberger did not file for re-election. The terms of the other two commissioners — Mayor Mike Dever and Commissioner Rob Chestnut — expire in two more years.

Previously, primary elections were held if more than six candidates filed for the City Commission, but a new state law was approved that pushed the number to either 10 or 11 candidates needed for a primary. The law, which the city can opt out of in future elections, was confusing for election officials to interpret. Shew said he expects state legislators to clarify the law this session.

He also said if the law hadn’t changed, though, both the city and school district would have had to pay tens of thousands of dollars to whittle down the fields of candidates.

The school board

Two school board members did not file to run, Linda Robinson and Craig Grant. The school board’s eight candidates are:

• Mark Bradford, chief of Lawrence-Douglas County Fire and Medical.

• Bob Byers, chairman of the school district’s Equity Council and an assistant program administrator for child support enforcement with the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services.

• Tom Hartley, a Sunset Hill School site council chairman, pharmaceutical company representative and former chairman of the Douglas County Democrats.

• Thom Hepford.

• John Mitchell, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment’s director of the division of environment and the lone incumbent to file.

• Michael Pomes, a KDHE geologist and Broken Arrow School PTA member.

• Michael Riley.

• Vanessa Sanburn, a Woodlawn School parent and KU graduate student in social work.

The general election will be April 7.


deskboy04 9 years ago

Dennis Constance was a really good city commissioner when he last served.

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