Johnson County voters on Tuesday re-elected Ed Eilert to serve a second term as chairman of the Board of County Commissioners.
Eilert, a former longtime mayor of Overland Park, withstood a conservative challenge from Patricia Lightner, a former state lawmaker from Olathe.
With all precincts reporting, the unofficial tally showed Eilert receiving 91,066 votes to Lightner’s 80,565 votes.
Also elected to fill nonpartisan commission seats were Prairie Village Mayor Ron Shaffer, who received 54 percent to former Mission Mayor Laura McConwell’s 46 percent in the 1st District. Incumbent Jason Osterhaus beat Overland Park Councilman Curt Skoog, 61 percent to 39 percent, in the 4th District.
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Running unopposed, incumbent Michael Ashcraft was returned to the 5th District seat.
Eilert received 53 percent of the votes cast for the commission chairmanship. His campaign touted the county’s record of balancing budgets in the face of harsh economic times without raising property taxes or slashing core services.
Lightner, who finished second in the August primary behind Eilert, promised to eliminate wasteful spending. She raised as an example the county’s purchase of the former King Louie bowling center on Metcalf Avenue. The building is slated for use by the Johnson County Museum and other county offices, but the commission has voted against issuing more than $10 million in bonds for the renovation.
Lightner also had called on county officials to work more closely with the area’s conservative state lawmakers.
Eilert, of Overland Park, was elected to the board chair in 2010 after serving four years as 4th District commissioner. He previously served on the Overland Park City Council and was the city’s mayor for 24 years.