Field of candidates for Lawrence City Commission, school board elections set
There’s a full field of candidates for the upcoming Lawrence City Commission and school board races.
At the Tuesday filing deadline, 14 candidates had signed up for three at-large seats on the City Commission; four candidates will contend for a two-year term on the school board and seven others will compete for four four-year terms on the board. The 14 candidate-field for the City Commission is the largest field in at least a decade, according to records from the Douglas County clerk’s office.
Two incumbents, however, won’t be a part of the mix. City Commissioner Mike Dever, a two-term incumbent, and school board member Randy Masten both decided not to seek re-election.
The large number of filings means there will be a primary election for both the City Commission and the school board on March 3. The primary will narrow the City Commission field down to six candidates. The primary will narrow the field of candidates for the two-year term on the school board to two candidates. The seven candidates competing for the four-year terms will not be part of the primary, but instead will all move onto the general election. The general election will be April 7.
Candidates for the City Commission:
• Kristie Adair, 41, a Lawrence school board member, co-owner of Wicked Broadband, and director of the Lawrence Center for Entrepreneurship.
• Mike Anderson, 33, host of the local cable television program “The Not So Late Show.”
• Stuart Boley, 60, a retired tax auditor and revenue agent for the Internal Revenue Service, and a part-time administrator for the not-for-profit Douglas County Community Foundation.
• David Crawford, 65, a retired boilermaker and union instructor who has led a grass-roots group to bring a grocery store to downtown Lawrence.
• Matthew Herbert, 32, a Lawrence High civics and government teacher who also is a landlord and owner of a local property maintenance company.
• Justin Priest, 41, a Lawrence bus driver and leader of the local transit union.
• Stan Rasmussen, 52, an attorney for the U.S. Army, who also has served on the Lawrence-Douglas County Planning Commission and other city boards.
• Greg Robinson, 49, a Lawrence attorney who was a leader of the group opposing the recent sales tax proposal for a new police headquarters.
• City Commissioner Terry Riordan, 63, a Lawrence physician and an owner of a local pediatric practice, who is finishing his first two-year term on the commission.
• Rob Sands, 32, a full-time officer in the Kansas National Guard.
• City Commissioner Bob Schumm, 68, a downtown landlord and retired restaurant owner who has served on the City Commission from 1979 to 1981, 1987 to 1993, and his current term, which began in 2011.
• Leslie Soden, 43, the owner of a pet-sitting business and a former president of the East Lawrence Neighborhood Association.
• Cori Viola, 23, a second-year law school student at Kansas University.
• Gary Williams, 52, owner of a Lawrence janitorial and laundry service.
Candidates for the two-year school board term:
• Marcel Harmon, 46, first joined the board in September 2014 as an appointee following the resignation of Adina Morse. He works for an engineering firm, M.E. Group. He served on the Kansas Next Generation Science Standard Review Committee.
• Mary Loveland, 66, served on the school board from 1987 to 2003 and again from 2007 to 2011. She has worked as an organizer for youth sports leagues and served on boards for the Kansas University Alumni Association and the Kansas Memorial Union.
• Norine Spears, 46, is a self-employed graphic artist. She is a member of the district’s Equity Council and Lawrence High School’s parent-teacher organization.
• Kelly Spurgeon, 57, is a program consultant at the Kansas State Department of Education, where he has analyzed policy and school accountability for the last 15 years. For the previous 10, he worked at Ottawa University and Neosho County Community College.
Candidates for the four four-year school board terms:
• Jessica Beeson, 38, is the director of alumni and community engagement for Kansas University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. She also works as a lecturer for KU’s leadership studies minor and for the African & African-American Studies Department. She has served on the Elementary Facilities Task Force and the Superintendent’s Advisory Council in past years.
• Bob Byers, 60, served on the board from 2009 to 2012. He was appointed to the board in June 2014 following the resignation of Keith Diaz Moore. Byers is an administrator for the Kansas Department for Children and Families.
• Jill Fincher, 47, is a board member for the Lawrence Schools Foundation, which raises money for the district. She has also served on boards for the Lawrence Public Library, the Ballard Center and several parent-teacher organizations for Lawrence schools. She manages a family business based in British Columbia.
• Lindsey Frye, 34, is a denied medical claims collector for Apria Healthcare in Overland Park. She is also a member of New York Elementary’s parent-teacher association and site council.
• Ronald “G.R.” Gordon-Ross, 40, is a health care IT professional. He volunteers at Prairie Park Elementary School and served on the district’s Elementary School Facility Vision Task Force, which was charged with studying how to make schools more efficient.
• Rick Ingram, 60, was elected to the board in 2011 and spent the 2013-14 school year as its president. He works as a professor of clinical psychology at KU. He also sits on the district’s Boundary Advisory Committee, which recommends changes to school attendance zones.
• Shannon Kimball, 41, was elected to the board in 2011 and currently serves as its president. She works as an attorney with a focus on legal and policy issues relating to public schools.