Candidates finally flock to openings
It came down to the wire Tuesday, but when the noon deadline passed to file for eight openings for Baldwin City Council and Baldwin School Board, there was a full slate of 18 candidates to choose from instead of just the three from a week ago.
There's a wide variety of candidates, too, from incumbents to a believed record three Baker University employees running for council seats to a Baldwin High School senior who filed for a council spot. The most interest came for position No. 4 on the school board, where six candidates filed, although there's a question there that won't be answered until mid-morning today.
"Yes, you've got a primary," said Connie Ingall of the Douglas County Clerk's office who tracks the various candidate filings.
Along with incumbent Chip Hornberger, six people filed to challenge him. They are Ruth C. Barkley, Toby Ebel, Nathan Feldt, Jay Hundley, Doug Mead and Barbara Tucker. The district is bordered to the east by Douglas County Road 1055, to the western edge of the district and north of U.S. Highway 56. Those are the only patrons who will be voting in the March 1 primary.
"That's correct, I believe so," said Ingall.
But, it's those boundaries that have caused the question. Election officials hadn't decided the fate of Hundley as of 5 p.m. Wednesday. It's believed he should be running for position No. 6 instead, but the matter won't be ruled on until today.
At least one other school board position will be contested in the general election for all positions on April 5. For position No. 2, incumbent Lonnie Broers filed for re-election and will be challenged by David Norris. Running unopposed is political newcomer Bill Busby in position No. 5, where incumbent Ed Schulte chose not to run again. Incumbent Ande Parks was unopposed in position No. 6 until the question arose about Hundley.
On the council side, incumbent mayor Ken Hayes will face off against council veteran Gary Walbridge, who served eight years in the late 1980s and mid '90s. Walbridge has had an eight-year hiatus from the council.
Four people will vie for two four-year terms on the council. They are incumbent Amy Cleavinger, John Frazier, Doyle Jardon and Jason Mock. Incumbent Tony Brown will run unopposed for the two years remaining on the term he inherited from Todd Cohen last spring. Cohen resigned to move to Lawrence and Brown was appointed to fill the term. However, he chose to run for the position in this election to give voters a chance to choose if they wanted him to fulfill it.
Walbridge is in charge of maintenance at Baker, Brown is a Baker professor and Frazier is in his first year as dean of student development.
The youngster of the group, however, is definitely Mock, who is 18, president of the National Honor Society at BHS, served on the student council last year and has been a four-year member of the debate team. He is serious about his run for a spot on the council.
"I've always been interested in the political process," said Mock. "I think I can help the city. I think I have a strong enough grasp on the basics of it. Obviously, the specifics things they're working on now or the taxation part, I don't. I don't think anyone who would be running for the positions would."
He didn't plan on making his run for a council seat until recently.
"I'd thought about it some," he said. "I hadn't thought about pursuing it until I saw the article two weeks ago in the Signal saying there weren't enough candidates. I took that as a sign."
Mock plans to attend Baker University in the fall.
More information on the candidates, including profiles, will be in upcoming issues of the Signal. More information will also be available and updated as it becomes available, including today's ruling by election officials, on the Signal's Web site at www.baldwincity.com.