Voters in seven Johnson County cities will narrow the field of candidates for city council seats in the Aug. 1 primary elections.
Roeland Park voters also will advance two candidates from a field of four seeking to succeed Joel Marquardt as mayor.
Voters in seven Johnson County cities have what’s come to be a rarity at election time: a choice for mayor. But six cities — De Soto, Edgerton, Gardner, Merriam, Overland Park and Roeland Park — are two-candidate races that will skip the primary and be decided in the general election on Nov. 7.
In Fairway, voters will pick between two longtime City Council members vying to replace the incumbent mayor, who is stepping aside.
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In Mission Hills, current City Councilman David Dickey was the only person to register to succeed outgoing Mayor Richard Boeshaar, who is leaving because of term limits.
Voters also will decide nearly three dozen contested City Council races in the fall, but primary elections to narrow the fields are required in just seven races, including Gardner, Olathe, Overland Park, Roeland Park and Shawnee.
A list of many of the contested races in Johnson County follows:
Fairway’s Jerry Wiley, Mission’s Steve Schowengerdt and Roeland Park’s Joel Marquardt will not run for new terms.
In Fairway, current city council members Melanie Hepperly and Jim Poplinger will face off in November to succeed Wiley.
Dan Bailey will face off against JD Fair, a former council member in Ward 4, for a Ward 2 seat. Incumbent David Watkins is running unopposed in Ward 3, and incumbent Tanya Keys is unopposed in Ward 4.
Three city council races in Merriam will be contested in the fall. Incumbent Scott Diebold is running against Dennis Miles in Ward 1, incumbent Cheryl Moore faces Sam Matier in Ward 4 and incumbent Brian Knaff faces Patty Newkirk in Ward 2. Incumbent Christine Evans Hands is unopposed in Ward 3.
Three council races in Mission feature multiple candidates. Burton Taylor and Hillary Parker Thomas are running for a seat in Ward 1, incumbent Arcie Rothrock and Steve Betzold for a Ward 2 seat, and incumbent Suzanne Gibbs, Sollie Flora and Bill Nichols for a Ward 4 seat.
Roeland Park, in addition to electing a new mayor, will have several new council members. No incumbents up for reelection in November are running. Tom Madigan is running in Ward 1, Jen Hill and Leonard Tocco will face off in Ward 2, Jim Kelly is running in Ward 4. William Scott Foy, Linda Mau and Claudia McCormack are running for the open seat representing Ward 3. Mau also filed as a candidate for mayor. Election officials say that is permissible.
Seven candidates are competing for an at-large seat on the City Council: Shirley Baker Harley, Mark Baldwin, Michael Blanchard, Terrence J. Flowers, Randy Gregorcyk, Jonathan T. Pelkey and Scott Smith.
A four-person field is competing for the at-large council seat now held by Ron Ryckman, who did not file for re-election. His other political job is speaker of the Kansas House.
Troy Calkins, Deann Mitchell, Jason K. Darby and former Kansas Secretary of Labor Karin Brownlee have filed to run. Brownlee was a state senator from 1997 to 2011, when she was appointed secretary of labor by Gov. Sam Brownback. She left that job in 2012 after an internal disagreement with his administration.
Vying to represent Olathe’s Ward 3 are incumbent Wes McCoy, Alan K. Marston Jr., Adam Thomas and Anthony G. Walsh.
In Ward 4, incumbent Marge Vogt, who was first elected in 1997, is facing Jason Daniels.
Three people have filed to run against incumbent Dave Janson in Ward 1, which includes the northern part of the city. The challengers are Logan Heley, Dean Mercer and Stephen Wyatt.
Primary races will happen in the western part of the city in Ward 3 and the southern part in Ward 4. Incumbent Jeff Vaught has two challengers for his Ward 3 spot: Justin Adrian and Dave Myres. In Ward 4, incumbent Brandon Kenig will face Lindsey Constance, Tony Noble and Ajay Sood.
Shawnee Mission School District
In the Shawnee Mission School District, two of three open seats will be narrowed in the August 1 primary.
For the Shawnee Mission West District 4 position, incumbent Craig Denney will face off against Lee Biard, Christopher White and Laura Guy.
Heather Ousley and Mandi Serrone Hunter, as well as Robert Roberge and Fabian Shepard, are challenging incumbent Cindy Neighbor.
Three candidates have filed for two at-large positions on the council, including incumbent Barbara K. Nelson, who has been on the council since 2009, Bill Bruning, who was appointed last month to fill the remaining term of former Councilman Dan Sullivan, and Charles Payne.
Of the six seats up for grabs on the Prairie Village City Council, five are already decided.
Current council members Jori Nelson (Ward 1), Sheila Myers (Ward 4) and Dan Runion (Ward 5) attracted no challengers while Ronald W. Nelson will succeed longtime Councilman Steve Noll in Ward 2 and Tucker Poling will replace first-time Councilman Eric Mikkelson in Ward 3. Neither Noll, who has been on the council since 1991, except for a three-and-a-half-year pause, nor Mikkelson filed for reelection.
The race for Ward 6 will require an election, however, as incumbent Terrence Gallagher, who is finishing his first term on the council, faces a challenge from Scott Kramer.
In Westwood, six candidates have registered to run for three at-large seats on the city council. Incumbents Lisa Cummins and Jason Hannaman will face Jeff Harris, Pam Merrigan, Thomas W. Scott and Jayme Tebow. Current council member Joe Whisler did not file for reelection.
Five of the eight city council seats are up for election in Leawood, but there are no contests for them. Mary Larson filed for the Ward 2 seat previously occupied by Steven Kaster who vacated his position this spring after moving to Dallas, Texas.
Incumbents of Ward 1, Debra Filla; Ward 3, Chuck Sipple and Lisa Harrison; and Ward 4, July Cain, all filed for reelection with no challengers. This will be the first November election for Leawood after the city postponed its scheduled April 2016 election. Leawood historically held elections in April of even years.
The city adjusted its codes in the fall of 2015 to match new state legislation requiring city elections to be held in November of odd years with officials taking office the following January.
Two Lenexa incumbents are facing challengers. Stacy Knipp, who was appointed to fill the Ward 2 seat in February, is being challenged by former city parks director Bill Nicks and Dale J. Romme.
Ward 4 Councilwoman Mandy Stuke also has two opponents: Michael Elliott and Samuel Phillip Davis.
In Merriam, Ward 4 incumbent Cheryl Moore will face off against Sam Matier and David Neal.
Kansas City Star writers Mike Hendricks and Katy Bergen, and freelance writers David Twiddy, Roxie Hammill, Andrew Nelson and Brittany Lane contributed to this report.