With few exceptions, incumbents and challengers with electoral experience did well Tuesday as voters in Jackson, Clay and Platte counties picked candidates to run for countywide offices.
Jackson County Sheriff Mike Sharp easily won his Democratic primary race as he vies for a third four-year term.
His Republican opponent in the fall election, Raymond Draper, did not face a primary challenge.
Neither did the two Democratic incumbents running for countywide office, both of whom are unopposed in November: County Executive Frank White and Prosecuting Attorney Jean Peters Baker.
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Sharp beat Brice Stewart by a ratio of 3 to 1. Stewart, a computer tech for county government and former Ferrelview police chief, had questioned Sharp’s fitness for office after three women in the sheriff’s department filed harassment complaints. But the issue never gained much traction.
In Clay County, incumbent Commissioner Luann Ridgeway garnered 59 percent of the vote to beat fellow Republican Dan Troutz for the right to represent the eastern district for another four years. But first she’ll have to get past Democrat Stacy Nickerson in the general election.
With 56 percent voter approval, former Presiding Commissioner Pam Mason beat Paul Evans in the Republican primary in the race for the western commissioner seat now held by Gene Owen. Owen, who ran unopposed in the Democratic primary, will face Mason in the general election.
Also Tuesday, Clay County Treasurer Ted Graves won virtual re-election when he beat challenger Victor S. Hurlbert in the Republican primary, 58 to 42 percent.
Graves has no opponent in the general election.
Not all incumbents prevailed in county races.
In Platte County, District 1 Commissioner Beverlee Roper lost to challenger Dagmar Wood in the Republican primary. Wood faces no opposition in the fall election, so she will go on to fill the seat Roper held for one term.
Republican Duane Soper did not run for re-election to represent District 2 in Platte County. Jason Buckley and John Elliott squared off to replace him in the GOP primary, and Elliott of Smithville came out on top with 62 percent of the vote to Buckley’s 25 percent. Vic Perrin’s name was also on the ballot, but he suspended his campaign before the vote, but too late to have his name removed.
Elliott, who has served on the board of equalization, will go on to face his Democratic challenger, former Kansas City Councilman John Fairfield, in the fall.