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Archive for Tuesday, February 26, 2013

City Commission primary: Amyx, Farmer, Riordan, Chestnut, Criqui, Soden qualify for April election

The six candidates for three open city commission seats from left clockwise, Mike Amyx, Jeremy Farmer, Terry Riordan, Leslie Soden, Scott Criqui and Rob Chestnut.

The six candidates for three open city commission seats from left clockwise, Mike Amyx, Jeremy Farmer, Terry Riordan, Leslie Soden, Scott Criqui and Rob Chestnut.

February 26, 2013, 10:21 p.m. Updated February 26, 2013, 11:32 p.m.

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Sandra Elston, a poll worker at Trinity Lutheran Church, knits by LED lantern because of a power outage Tuesday morning, Feb. 26. Elston's  own home was without power but she walked to the precinct. Her yarn got a little wet from the snow during the walk, but came in handy while waiting for voters. Area streets and trees were packed with snow and more than 1,500 Douglas County residents were without power  as Lawrence woke up to its second major winter storm in less than a week.

Sandra Elston, a poll worker at Trinity Lutheran Church, knits by LED lantern because of a power outage Tuesday morning, Feb. 26. Elston's own home was without power but she walked to the precinct. Her yarn got a little wet from the snow during the walk, but came in handy while waiting for voters. Area streets and trees were packed with snow and more than 1,500 Douglas County residents were without power as Lawrence woke up to its second major winter storm in less than a week.

The old hand of the Lawrence City Commission finished Tuesday’s primary election with the upper hand, but two newcomers also closed in on commission seats.

City Commissioner Mike Amyx — who is seeking his fifth term on the commission — took the top spot in Tuesday’s primary election, besting the 11-candidate field by more than 500 votes.

Political newcomers Jeremy Farmer — the CEO of Lawrence food bank Just Food — and Lawrence physician Terry Riordan took the second and third spots respectively. Tuesday’s primary narrowed the field to six candidates. Also qualifying for the general election were former commissioner Rob Chestnut, local nonprofit executive Scott Criqui and former neighborhood leader Leslie Soden.

The April 2 election will determine the three winners who will join incumbents Bob Schumm and Mike Dever on the City Commission.

City Commission General Election Candidates

Links to profiles of the six remaining Lawrence City Commission candidates in the April 2 General Election

Amyx said he felt the election turned on concerns about city finances and spending on new projects. “There is a lot of concern from voters about their paychecks and the amount of money going out the door right now,” Amyx, a downtown barbershop owner, said. “I think people view me as a good fiscal manager, and that is what I’ll focus on in the future.”

The primary results could be seen as a mixed message from voters on the proposed Rock Chalk Park recreation center project: Amyx opposes it, but Farmer and Riordan have generally indicated they favor it.

But the clearest conclusion that came out of Tuesday’s primary may have been what didn’t happen: Large numbers of residents didn’t vote, apparently due to a snowstorm that hit the city as polls were opening. Voter turnout checked in at just 8.6 percent.

Turnout for the April 2 election is expected to be significantly higher, as Lawrence voters also will be asked to decide on a $92.5 million bond issue that would pay for a host of Lawrence Public School District improvements.

“We just got a glimpse tonight,” said Riordan, who has been a Lawrence pediatrician for the last 30 years and is making his first run for political office. “There will be a lot of new voters out there for the general election.”

Six candidates will get a chance to win them over. The candidates moving onto the general election, and their vote totals, are:

• Amyx: 2,989 votes

• Farmer: 2,464

• Riordan: 2,067

• Chestnut, chief financial officer for a Topeka-based company and former city commissioner: 1,769

• Criqui, an executive with Lawrence-based Trinity In-Home Care and a member of the city’s Human Relations Commission: 1,677

• Soden, owner of a Lawrence pet care business and former president of the East Lawrence Neighborhood Association: 1,532

The five candidates not moving on are:

• Judy Bellome: 1,296

• Michael Rost: 351

• Reese Hays: 308

• Will Olson: 100

• Nicholas Marlo: 39

The race featured only one incumbent — Amyx — although Chestnut is only two years removed from the commission. Voters, however, were open to new faces on Tuesday.

Farmer, 29, said economic issues continue to be a major theme he hears from residents.

“People want to be able to grow up here and retire here, and right now with the tax base and job situation, people are finding that difficult to do,” he said.

All of Tuesday’s results are unofficial. They won’t become official until election officials canvass — or make a final review — of the ballots on Monday. Douglas County Clerk Jamie Shew said there were about 150 provisional ballots that still need to be added to the totals, but that number is not expected to make a difference in the outcome of the six candidates moving on to the general election.

Comments

Catalano 1 year, 1 month ago

Alert: Sycho has moved on to today's editorial.

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headdoctor 1 year, 1 month ago

The Lawrence Chamber of Commerce usually puts their support behind at least two candidates to be sure of success in the general election. This go around the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce members can blindly throw darts at the candidates and end up with people in office that they can live with.

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Bob Forer 1 year, 1 month ago

More interesting tidbits:

Greg Williams, the CEO of the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce, contributed $100.00 to Farmer's campaign.

And Doug Gaumer, the local community President of INtrust Bank, and also the Chairman of the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce contributed $150.00 to Farmer's campaign.

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jayhawkjoeb 1 year, 1 month ago

Thank you for telling us who is a good person and good people. We were all waiting for your insight to their intentions. Now we can sleep soundly knowing you're on the job.

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Bob Forer 1 year, 1 month ago

Why does Mr. Farmer see fit to accept $650.00 in contributions from people who don't even live in Lawrence?.

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Bob Forer 1 year, 1 month ago

A few more of Mr. Farmer's endorsers:

Chuck & Laurel Krider --Chuck is a Emeritus Professor of Business at KU. The couple has homes in both Lawrence and Estes Park Colorado. His specialty was labor relations.

Gary & Angie Rexroad --Gary is a founder and co-chair of CadreLawrence, a group that came out early in support of Rock Chalk Park. He is in the software business. Angie is a special Ed ParaEducator

Alex Delaney --Owns Indepsys, Inc. (computers), member, Lawrence Chamber of Commerce

“Ace” Hickey --writes a lot of letters to the editor, all with a progressive bent. Has voiced his opposition to the Citizen’s United decision and the millions of dollars that fuel political Has been a staunch critic of Lynn Jenkins. Appears to be one of the “liberals” Mr. Farmer has duped. I suggest that Mr. Hickey review Mr. Farmer’s campaign finance report once it is filed. Frankly, I don’t think Mr. Hickey is the type of guy who would be comfortable “sleeping with” most of Mr. Farmer’s supporters. Hope he reads this and re-thinks his position.

Here are a few other known “liberals” who I believe have been duped by Mr. Farmer:

Bob Casad, Emeritus Professor of Law (a very good and decent man)

Forrest & Donna Swall (Forrest is an emeritus professor of Social Welfare and good people)

Laura Routh

Caroljean Brune

Hilda Enoch (a wonderful lady and long-time advocate for the disadvantaged)

All I can say is “come on guys and gal?!??!!!” Do you realize you’re in bed with Thomas Fritzel’s architect, bankers, insurance agents, chamber of commerce people, attorneys for developers. Do you really think a city commission candidate who is endorsed by a guy who gave nearly $1,000 to Romney and Lynn Jenkins will represent your values? Jeremy is trying to “make nice” with everyone. Surely you folks are sophisticated enough to know that such goals are hopelessly naïve. If Barrack Obama couldn’t do it, what makes you think a 29 year old kid can? Okay, so he is CEO of a food bank. Big deal. Surely you have heard of the expression, “poverty pimp.”

One more thing, my "liberal friends." Aren't you curious that most of Lawrence's long time progressive folks are conspicuously absent from Mr. Farmer's list of supporters.

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Bob Forer 1 year, 1 month ago

A few more of Mr. Farmer's official endorsers. Paul Werner's endorsement is especially interesting, as he is Thomas Fritzel's architect on the Rock Chalk Park Project. Will be interesting to see who has contributed to Mr. Farmer's campaign. He was the only City Commission Candidate who failed to file his campaign finance report by the deadline. I bet anyone a dime to a dollar that Mr. Werner made a contribution. For those of you who do not support the Rock Chalk Park in its current configuration, but are currently supporting Mr. Farmer, i suggest you rethink your position.

Sue Hack --former city commissioner; current Executive Director of Chamber of Commerce Leadership Lawrence,

Al Hack --Sue’s Husband. Owns CEK Insurance.

Mary Lou Wright --co owner of Raven Bookstore

Bonnie Lowe --US Attorney's Office--Financial Investigator; Board Member, Lawrence Douglas County Bioscience Authority.

Jamie Lowe --Bonnie’s husband; Market President, Prairie Land Group (Insurance); formerly employed by three different banks: National Bank of Kansas City, Capital City Bank & US Bank \

Jennifer Werner --West Region Sales Manager of Schneider Electric, a large electrical contractor

Paul Werner –Jennifer’s husband; Owner / Architect at Paul Werner Architects; Mr,. Werner was Thomas Fritzel’s architect for the infamous Varsity House project. He is also working with Fritzel on the Rock Chalk Park project. With supporters like this, are we at all surprised that Mr. Farmer was an early supporter of Rock Chalk Park?

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Bob Forer 1 year, 1 month ago

Daniel Poull --Plumbing Contractor

Carrie Lindsey --Director of Resident Service at Lawrence-Douglas County Housing Authority

Kent Fisher --Finance Manager and Office of Dale Willey Pontiac Cadillac

Rick Falley --Wordpress Admin, Tech Support, Reflective Group LLC; father of Brandon Falley, Operations Manager for Just Food
(I guess I would endorse the boss of my son as well—job security)

Terry Draskovich --Office Manager/Golf Tournament for Just Food, the organization Mr. Farmer runs.

Barbara Pitner -- Client Intake Coordinator, Just Food. Question: Should the head of a non-profit be asking his paid employees to endorse him in a political race? Mr. Farmer signs her check. It sure creates an appearance of impropriety.

Suzana Hicks --Senior Admin. Assoc, Kansas Geological Survey

Brad & Amy Finkeldei --Brad is an attorney with Stevens and Brand. According to their web site, his “experience includes assisting more than a dozen lending institutions and multiple developers and contractors navigate the difficult economic climate that has existed the last few years.” (translation: he is an attorney for the rich developers). He is also a current member of the Douglas County Planning Commission and serves on the Board of Directors for Lawrence Chamber of Commerce Leadership Lawrence. He also supported and contributed to the campaigns of Mike Dever and Hugh Carter

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Bob Forer 1 year, 1 month ago

Here is the run down on a few more of Mr. Farmer's endorsers:

Daniel Poull --Plumbing Contractor

Carrie Lindsey --Director of Resident Service at Lawrence-Douglas County Housing Authority

Kent Fisher --Finance Manager and Office of Dale Willey Pontiac Cadillac

Rick Falley --Wordpress Admin, Tech Support, Reflective Group LLC; father of Brandon Falley, Operations Manager for Just Food
(I guess I would endorse the boss of my son as well—job security)

Terry Draskovich --Office Manager/Golf Tournament for Just Food, the organization Mr. Farmer runs.

Barbara Pitner -- Client Intake Coordinator, Just Food. Question: Should the head of a non-profit be asking his paid employees to endorse him in a political race? Mr. Farmer signs her check. It sure creates an appearance of impropriety.

Suzana Hicks --Senior Admin. Assoc, Kansas Geological Survey

Brad & Amy Finkeldei --Brad is an attorney with Stevens and Brand. According to their web site, his “experience includes assisting more than a dozen lending institutions and multiple developers and contractors navigate the difficult economic climate that has existed the last few years.” (translation: he is an attorney for the rich developers). He is also a current member of the Douglas County Planning Commission and serves on the Board of Directors for Lawrence Chamber of Commerce Leadership Lawrence. He also supported and contributed to the campaigns of Mike Dever and Hugh Carter

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Bob Forer 1 year, 1 month ago

For all you "liberals" who think Jeremy Farmer is going to represent the "little guy," think again. I went to his web site and did a little research on his endorsements. I still have work to do, but here is a partial list of his public supporters and their affiliations. His support includes a lot of Chamber of Commerce folks, real estate and insurance agents, and others, whose incomes will benefit from favorable decisions made by the City Commission. .

I have lived in this town for over forty years and have never seen a so-called "progressive" attract such widespread support from the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce. To you liberals who think he is not already in the pocket of the monied interests in town, all I have to say is that you folks are exceedingly naive.

Jean Milstead --Founding Member and Past Chair of Chamber of Commerce Leadership Lawrence

Ron & Dee Bisel --Owners of Minuteman Press

Michael Blumenfield --Retired East Coast Business Executive and Former Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Army

Linda Watts --Clinical Social Worker; Board Member of Lawrence Family Promise, a faith based charity for the homeless

Thad Holcombe --Director, Ecumenical Campus Ministries at Kansas University

Jerome Marquez --Kansas Children's Service Fatherhood Coordinator

Ron Guerin --Project Management Professional at Computerized Assessments and Learning; Graduate, Lawrence Chamber of Commerce Leadership Lawrence

Ernesto Hodison --Vice President Douglas County Bank; Board Member, Lawrence Chamber of Commerce

Greg Gardner (Major General, Ret.) --Former Adjutant General, Kansas National Guard

Michael McGrew --CEO and Chairman of the Board, McGrew Real Estate

Tom Karasek --Owner, Calvin Eddy Kappelman Inc Insurance Agency

David Anderson --Manager, Lawrence H&R Block

Matt Daigh --Asst Funeral Director, Rumsey-Yost

Constance Wolfe --Marketing and Advertising Consultant; Board Member, Lawrence Chamber of Commerce; Graduate, Lawrence Chamber of Commerce Leadership Lawrence

Kurt Goeser’; --State Farm Insurance Agent

Cherise Anderson --USD 497; Graduate of Chamber of Commerce Leadership Lawrence

Elizabeth Hatchett --Lawrence Arts Commission

Mary Lee Gilchrist --Mortgage Advisor at STONEGATE MORTGAGE

Tim Bateman --Controller at RD Johnson Excavating Company

Colleen Callahan --Marketing Consultant at Great Plains Media

Sue Grosdidier --Married to Scott Grosdidier, a Realtor at McGrew Realty

Doug Raney --Attorney; contributed $250 to Romney and $300 to Lynn Jenkins in last election cycle

Erin Hayden --Engineer at EN Engineering (Oil and Gas Industry)

Fairley & Donna McCain --McCain Angus Ranch

Debbie Pitts --Director of Development for Lawrence Community Theatre

4

Liberal 1 year, 1 month ago

Let the mud slinging begin... I love how the left always says a person is not smart enough, as if they are all intellectual giants...well I mean if you think from the right you have to be an idiot right?

If you appreciate that someone is a nice person that is wrong...

Please someone tell me the outstanding qualifications of Former Mayor Mike Rundle....Now let's see what are Soden's credentials again?

1

Icandoittoo 1 year, 1 month ago

One thing I dislike about all of them.

Amyx: You have a successful business

Farmer: You are feeding the hungry

Riordan: You keep kids healthy

Chestnut: You like Topeka

Criqui: You run a successful non-profit

Soden: You like animals

1

Mollie New Leaf 1 year, 1 month ago

I'm happy as long as Riordan loses.

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Mass1999 1 year, 1 month ago

I also question Farmer's qualifications. He didn't turn his campaign finance report in on time and strikes me as immature. Also his stories sound made up "today a man told me the American dream is dead!!!" Was his major in college drama?

5

FlintlockRifle 1 year, 1 month ago

Wrong Chestnut, should have said Rob, and nor Mark, boy it don't pay to get old.

0

FlintlockRifle 1 year, 1 month ago

What's Marks reason to want back on the commission, after two years removed??

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headdoctor 1 year, 1 month ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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Keith Richards 1 year, 1 month ago

Which of these candidates (besides Amyx) was for and against the rec center? Just curious if we could see a reversal in the majority after the election.

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Bob Forer 1 year, 1 month ago

Congratulations Leslie and Scott. Looks like we have some work to do before the general election.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 1 month ago

We've got a political system, locally, statewide and nationally, that's based on cronyism and controlled primarily by moneyed interests. The vast majority of folks just struggling to get through the day, and who have never been encouraged to learn about or participate in the political process, see no incentive to waste their time trying to educate themselves about the issues or working for candidates who will look after their interests.

And for those who do control the political machinery, this widespread apathy and resignation perpetuates the status quo, and that's just fine with them.

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PwopellewCap 1 year, 1 month ago

And we have to keep anti-progess whiner Soden out as well.

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UneasyRider 1 year, 1 month ago

Hopefully the top 3 vote getters will win. In other words Chestnut remains just a bad memory.

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Matthew Herbert 1 year, 1 month ago

8.6% turnout is shameful and I won't listen to anymore of this "the weather is to blame" nonsense. I visited the grocery store two separate times over the four day period in which voting was open to find the shelves 3/4 empty. If people could weather the storm enough to raid and clean out the grocery store, they could weather the storm enough to cast a ballot. 91.4% of this community just lost their right to complain. In a city this size, we managed to have a candidate WIN with less than 3,000 votes to his name.

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jhawkinsf 1 year, 1 month ago

In a thread just the other day, I opined that if this election, or any election for that matter, had a voter turnout of less than 10%, then the results were meaningless. Yesterday's turnout was 8.6%.

Democracy might not be dead in Lawrence, but it's on life support.

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MMorton 1 year, 1 month ago

Way to go Dr. Riordan! Hopefully your strong finish in the primary will mean more support for you in the general. As both a business owner and a physician, I think your perspective will be an incredibly valuable one to have at City Hall!

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