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Four more candidates file for Lawrence City Commission seats ahead of today's deadline; field set at 11 candidates

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Voters, get your memory caps out. Lawrence residents will have 11 different candidates to choose from during the upcoming City Commission elections.

The filing deadline was at noon today, and four more candidates threw their names into the ring.

Two of the candidates — Judy Bellome, the retired CEO of Lawrence’s Visiting Nurses Association, and Leslie Soden, a former president of the East Lawrence Neighborhood Association and owner of a pet care business — are candidates we told you to expect in yesterday’s edition of Town Talk.

But two more candidates came in just under the deadline.

William R. Olson and Nicholas E. Marlo both filed the necessary paperwork late this morning. I haven’t yet talked to either of them, but their filings give some information about both. The form asks for any place of employment during the last year, and Olson lists a management position with the R Bar & Patio in Lawrence. Marlo lists a position with Boston Financial Data Services, which folks in town may previously have known as DST Systems, the financial services company in the former Sallie Mae building near Sixth and Iowa.

I’m working to get in touch with both of the new candidates, and will add an update here when I do.

As for the rest of the field, here are the seven candidates who filed prior to today:

• City Commissioner Mike Amyx, a downtown barber shop owner;

• Rob Chestnut, a former Lawrence city commissioner and a CFO for a Topeka-based publishing company;

• Scott Criqui, a Lawrence human relations commissioner and an executive with a Lawrence-based home health care company;

• Jeremy Farmer, executive director of the Lawrence-based food bank Just Food;

• Reese Hays, chief litigation counsel for the Kansas Board of Healing Arts in Topeka;

• Terry Riordan, a Lawrence physician and former Lawrence-Douglas County planning commissioner;

• Michael Rost, an attorney for a Topeka insurance company.

As expected, City Commissioners Aron Cromwell and Hugh Carter did not seek re-election.

With 11 candidates, this will be one of the larger fields in recent memory. It is far different from two years ago when only five candidates ran for three seats. It will be interesting to see if the larger field means candidates have some burning issues they want to talk about. The election two years ago didn’t have many hot-button issues.

Voters will narrow the field down to six candidates in a Feb. 26 primary. Voters then will elect three commissioners during the April 2 general election.

UPDATE: I’ve gotten in touch with Nicholas Marlo this afternoon. Marlo is a 23-year old recent graduate of Kansas University, and he said he’ll try to bring up issues important to younger voters.

“It seemed like it would be a fun thing to do,” Marlo said of his decision to enter the race. “I felt like maybe it would be good to have a larger youth voice.”

Marlo said one issue he wants to explore is having more late-night public transportation available in the city. He said late-night public transportation service might improve safety in the community by cutting down on the number of people who are driving after going to a bar.

Marlo works for Boston Financial Data Services in Lawrence, where he is a mutual fund representative in the company.

I’m still looking to get in touch with Olson.

Comments

Brent Fry 2 years, 5 months ago

Jeremy Farmer is a good man. He would serve the city well

GUMnNUTS 2 years, 5 months ago

Reese Hays, I think he was a state trooper or highway patrol before becoming a lawyer. Stand up guy.

bearded_gnome 2 years, 5 months ago

a 23-year-old mutual fund rep thinks it'd be "fun" to run. hmmm

wow, ten candidates, difficult choice! I like Hays disavowing donations.
I'll be considering my votes for a bit. I do like Farmer, Amyx.
the little I know about Belome I like.

*Soden is endorsed by Merrill, a real handicap.

bearded_gnome 2 years, 5 months ago

Marlo said one issue he wants to explore is having more late-night public transportation available in the city. He said late-night public transportation service might improve safety in the community by cutting down on the number of people who are driving after going to a bar.

---well, first, did KU's Safe Ride go out of business? that's for current KU students.

if Marlo means for young people who're no longer KU students, I'm sorry I don't have a lot of sympathy: if you're dropping $s and $s in the bar for ignorant watergetting wasted you can spare $9 for a taxi home, or split the $9 + added passenger fare.

the T is now proposing expanding to late night service for prescheduled service. it is thought that this will primarily serve those who are employed outside of the T's normal operating hours.

gccs14r 2 years, 5 months ago

How about folks who'd maybe like to have a third beer with dinner, then hop a bus home? Not wasted, but over .08. Never mind the folks who work swing shift or second who'd like to be able to use public transportation, but can't.

bearded_gnome 2 years, 5 months ago

gccs, reread my post. my concern is not with extending public trans for people employed eyond the T's current hours of operation.

and, if you're having a beer or two with a dinner out, again I'm thinking you, and maybe your date, can afford the taxi.

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