Veteran, nonprofit board member Dustin Stumblingbear files again for City Commission

photo by: Mike Yoder

Dustin Stumblingbear, of Lawrence, addresses protesters at the March For Our Lives rally Saturday, March 24, 2018, on the Kansas Statehouse grounds in Topeka.

Veteran and nonprofit board member Dustin Stumblingbear has filed again for election to the Lawrence City Commission.

Stumblingbear, 40, who has lived in Lawrence since 2009, ran unsuccessfully for City Commission in 2017, finishing fourth in a race for three seats. Stumblingbear said he decided to run again for the commission because he thinks his perspective — including his experiences as a veteran, lifelong renter and a Native American — would benefit decision-making at City Hall.

“I still feel I have something to contribute to the discussion of the issues coming to the City Commission,” Stumblingbear said.

photo by: Nick Krug

City commission candidate Dustin Stumblingbear

Apart from his own experience, Stumblingbear said he spoke to thousands of residents as part of his previous door-knocking campaign and he thinks there are other points of view missing. He said his many conversations with residents were eye-opening for him, and that he looks forward to talking more with residents as part of his upcoming campaign.

“I want people to know I enjoyed the campaign because of the discussions we got to have with the citizens of Lawrence,” Stumblingbear said. “It was just rewarding to talk to so many people and hear so many different perspectives.”

Stumblingbear is an Iraq war veteran and a member of the Kiowa tribe of Oklahoma. He currently serves on the board of Independence Inc. and is a member of the city’s Human Relations Commission, which investigates discrimination complaints related to employment, public accommodations and housing.

The seats of Commissioner Leslie Soden, Commissioner Matthew Herbert and Mayor Stuart Boley are up for re-election this year. Soden recently announced she would not be running for re-election.

Stumblingbear is the first candidate to file for the 2019 City Commission election. City ordinance requires a primary when the number of candidates is more than two times the number of open seats.

The filing deadline for the election is noon on June 3, according to Douglas County Deputy Elections Clerk Heather Dill. She said that if a primary is needed, it will be held Aug. 6.


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