Voter guide: Contested races in Baldwin City, Eudora, Lecompton
Baldwin City, Eudora and Lecompton voters will all have contested races to consider when they fill out ballots Nov. 7.
The top-of-ticket contest in Baldwin City has Casey Simoneau challenging incumbent Baldwin City Mayor Marilyn Pearse’s bid for a second four-year term.
A member of the Baldwin City Planning Commission since 2015, Simoneau ran unsuccessfully for the Baldwin City Council two years ago. The former 10-year Kansas Highway Patrol officer and owner of the Baldwin City title company Executive Title said he was entering the race as a young family man who wants to better the city for himself and his children.
“My main issue is to make sure Baldwin City is taken care of,” he said after he filed for the race. “I want to better understand where our city fits financially. Once you understand the numbers, you can establish the goals the city needs to achieve and have discussion on various items. I have great respect and love for this city. I want to serve the community that has given my family a home.”
Pearse said last spring she wanted to continue the progress of her first four years.
“There are a lot of things that are in the works I’d like to see completed,” Pearse said. “I think we did get a lot of things done that I wanted, like getting gigabit fiber, the sewer line to the industrial park and buying back the right to supply power for the industrial park from KCP&L. There’s still things we need to get done.”
Voters will elect two new members to the Baldwin City Council, as incumbents Christi Darnell and Kathy Gerstner chose not to run for re-election. Vying for the seats are Brian Cramer, Brian Messenger, Susan Pitts and Peter Sexton and former Baldwin City Councilman Shane Starkey. A.J. Stevens’ name remains on the ballot, although he ended his active campaign when he was appointed in July to fill he unexpired term of Steve Bauer, who died in a May vehicle accident.
Gregory Kruger, Susan Schiffelbein and Chris Perry are running unopposed for the Baldwin City school board.
Three incumbents and one first-time candidate are vying for three Eudora school board positions on the ballot. Seeking another four-year term are Eric Votaw, Michael Kelso and Joseph Hurla. Joining them on the ballot is Eric Ahlander. The seats are at-large positions, and the three candidates with the most votes in November will be elected to the board.
Ahlander is an area transportation manager for the Amazon facility in Edgerton. He said he came to that job after a 15-year career as a logistics expert with the Army. The father of four said his background as a logistician can contribute to district progress.
Hurla, who is one of three founding partners of the energy auditing firm 360 Energy, said he’s seeking another term to help continue the positive momentum the district has enjoyed the last 15 years and during his time on the board.
Kelso, an IT applications administrator for Epiq Systems, said he was running for re-election because he thought the current board was strong and out of anticipation of working with greater resources as a result of recent Kansas Supreme Court rulings finding the Legislature was inadequately funding K-12 education.
When he filed, Votaw said he decided to seek another term because he still has three children in district schools. The big task before the district would be managing growth, he said.
Jolene Born and Tim Reazin are the only two candidates running for the two open seats on the Eudora City Commission.
Lecompton school district voters will decide among Nick Fergus, Stephanie Confer and Brad Guess for Position 6 on the Lecompton school board.
Lecompton Mayor Sandra Jacquot is running unopposed for another two-year term, as are incumbent City Council members Tim McNish and Elsie Middleton.