Race for Douglas County Commission 2nd District gets closer with new ballots counted Wednesday; Thellman’s lead drops to 42 votes

photo by: Nick Krug/Journal-World File Photo

In this file photo from May 7, 2018, a stack of mail-in ballots sits at the Douglas County Courthouse.

One of the closest local primary elections of the year, the 2nd District County Commission race, got even closer on Wednesday after the Douglas County Clerk’s Office counted more advance mail ballots.

Incumbent Democratic County Commissioner Nancy Thellman, who is running for a fourth term as 2nd District representative, saw her lead over Democratic challenger Shannon Reid dwindle to just 42 votes. Thellman has received 2,237 votes to Reid’s 2,195, giving each of them about 37% of all ballots cast. Sara Taliaferro, the third candidate in the race, now has 1,467 votes, for just under 25%.

Because so many voters cast ballots through the mail, it could take days before the results are known. Under Kansas law, mail ballots will count as long as they were postmarked on or before Tuesday and are received by the local election office by 5 p.m. on Friday. In addition, the primary election results won’t be officially certified until the canvass on Monday, Aug. 17.

Both Thellman and Reid told the Journal-World Tuesday night that they believed the race would come down to the wire.

The clerk’s office said in a tweet it would update its vote counts again on Thursday afternoon.

Along with the Democratic primary winner, a Republican will appear on the November general election ballot for the 2nd District seat — Brett LaRue — but he previously told the Journal-World that he is not actively campaigning for the seat, and he also endorsed Thellman in the race.


Welcome to the new LJWorld.com. Our old commenting system has been replaced with Facebook Comments. There is no longer a separate username and password login step. If you are already signed into Facebook within your browser, you will be able to comment. If you do not have a Facebook account and do not wish to create one, you will not be able to comment on stories.