Wyandotte County voters will trim the field of candidates in three contested Unified Government commission races in the Feb. 26 primary.
Here are The Stars recommendations:
At-large, 2nd District: Candidates Daniel Serda and Hal Walker deserve to make it to the April 2 general election in the battle to replace John Mendez. Serda is a city planner who would bring a fact-based approach to improving the county. Walker is the retired chief counsel to the commission, who dealt with numerous governmental issues for almost three decades. The other candidate is T.J. Reardon, a longtime complainer in the county.
1st District: Four candidates are battling to replace 16-year commissioner Nathan Barnes, who is running for mayor. James Connelly and Victor A. Harris Sr. both offer energetic takes on how they want to bring more development to their urban core neighborhoods. Connelly is a property manager for the Kansas City, Kan., Housing Authority; Harris works in security. Other candidates are Winfred Manning and Gayle E. Townsend.
8th District: Challengers Veronica Knight and Jane Winkler Philbrook want to oust incumbent Butch Ellison, who has not provided much leadership. Knight, philanthropy director at Truman Medical Center, has an impressive service record in community involvement. Philbrook, an optometrist, also has been involved in civic improvement efforts. The other candidate is Kendon McClaine.