Anti-mask protester facing felony charges files to run for Douglas County Commission
photo by: Austin Hornbostel/Journal-World
A Lawrence resident who has protested efforts by the Lawrence school district and Douglas County health leaders to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus — and who is facing felony charges — has filed to run for a seat on the Douglas County Commission.
The resident, Justin Spiehs, filed Wednesday as a Republican candidate for County Commission District No. 1. Commissioner Patrick Kelly currently holds that seat, and Kelly’s four-year term expires in January 2023. Kelly has yet to file for reelection.
Spiehs, who has likened mask-wearing to child abuse, is the second candidate to file to run for the seat; Dustin Stumblingbear, a Lawrence resident and former City Commission candidate, filed as a Democratic candidate at the beginning of this year.
Spiehs was charged with three felonies, two of them for aggravated assault and one for interference with a law enforcement officer, after an altercation at a vaccine clinic hosted at West Middle School last December. He’s next scheduled to attend a preliminary hearing April 21.
The filing deadline for the 2022 election is June 1, according to the Douglas County Elections Office. A primary election, if needed, would take place Aug. 2, and the general election is Nov. 8.