Field of 13 candidates set for Douglas County Commission election

photo by: Journal-World

The west side of the Douglas County Courthouse, 1100 Massachusetts St., is pictured on Sept. 23, 2021.

The field of candidates running for seats on the Douglas County Commission this fall is now official.

Monday at noon was the filing deadline for candidates who wish to appear on the ballot for the Aug. 6 primary election. With that deadline now past, there are officially 13 candidates vying for the four seats up for election on the expanded five-member County Commission. Here’s a reminder of who has filed:

District 2 (North Lawrence, eastern Lawrence around downtown, Grant Township and the portion of Wakarusa Township north of Lawrence):

Two Democrats — incumbent Shannon Reid and Lawrence City Commissioner Lisa Larsen — are the only candidates who filed for the seat, meaning whoever comes out on top in the August primary will run unopposed in November.

District 3 (western Lawrence, city of Lecompton and five townships: Willow Springs, Marion, Clinton, Kanwaka and Lecompton):

Two Republicans — John Landon and Pam McDermott — will face off in the August primary, with the winner running against Commission Chair Karen Willey.

District 4 (Southeastern Lawrence, Eudora and Eudora Township, portion of Wakarusa Township between Grant Township and eastern Lawrence):

District 4 is one of two districts in which a candidate filed to run on deadline day. In this district, that’s Timothy Bruce — the current Vice Mayor of Eudora. Bruce was reelected to his seat on the Eudora City Commission last year; his term expires in January 2028.

Bruce will join Libertarian Steve Jacob on the November ballot, along with the victor in a Democratic primary between Gene Dorsey and Mike Kelso.

District 5 (South Lawrence, southern Wakarusa Township, Baldwin City and Palmyra Township):

The other candidate to file on deadline day is Democrat Erica Anderson of Baldwin City. Anderson’s candidacy triggers a primary race against one other Democratic candidate, Nicholas Matthews. The winner will be joined on the November ballot by Libertarian Kirsten Kuhn and Republican Rich Lorenzo.

Along with the candidates running for seats on the County Commission, the races for the county treasurer, county clerk, sheriff and register of deeds positions are all but decided since only the incumbents for each seat have filed for election. That includes Douglas County Treasurer Adam Rains, Douglas County Clerk Jamie Shew, Douglas County Sheriff Jay Armbrister and Douglas County Register of Deeds Kent Brown, all of whom are Democrats.

The deadline to register to vote in the upcoming August primary election is Tuesday, July 16.


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