Lawrence resident Dustin Stumblingbear files for City Commission

Dustin Stumblingbear

Lawrence resident Dustin Stumblingbear has filed for election to the Lawrence City Commission.

Stumblingbear, 38, a veteran who has lived in Lawrence since 2009, said he decided to run for the commission because he wants to serve the community.

“That idea of service to the greater community is something that’s a natural part of me, a natural part of my perspective on the world,” Stumblingbear said.

Originally from Tucson, Ariz., Stumblingbear lived in Lawrence for a few years growing up before coming back to attend Haskell Indian Nations University and later the University of Kansas. While at KU, Stumblingbear studied secondary education, but said he eventually left school before obtaining his degree to help care for his son.

Stumblingbear retired as a specialist after serving two tours in Iraq with the Army National Guard. Currently, he is a member of the Independence Inc. board, and is interning with state Rep. Boog Highberger, of Lawrence.

Dustin Stumblingbear

Stumblingbear said his interest in local politics has increased recently, and he noted he has concerns about the city’s debate regarding the sidewalk maintenance ordinance, as well as the potential whitewater outdoor center proposed for Clinton State Park. He said the city needs to consider all of its infrastructure needs.

“What are we doing to maintain our roads, to make sure our (water) pipelines are up to date?” Stumblingbear said.

If elected to the commission, Stumblingbear said he’d like to focus on long-term infrastructure needs and fiscal planning, especially given budget debates at the state level.

“What is the city’s long-term plan to deal with that, should they start making draconian cuts?” Stumblingbear said. “We know they’re fighting it right now, but who knows?”

The terms of commissioners Lisa Larsen, Mike Amyx and Matthew Herbert are expiring this year. Stumblingbear is the fourth candidate to file for the election, following filings by Herbert, Larsen and Lawrence businessman Bassem Chahine.

The filing deadline for the City Commission race is noon on June 1. Candidates will have an Aug. 1 primary, if needed, and the general election will be on Nov. 7. Primaries will only be scheduled if the number of candidates who file is more than three times the number of open seats.