Archive for Thursday, June 12, 2008

Primary election lineup set for county races

June 12, 2008

Douglas County voters will elect a new majority to the Douglas County Commission this fall, while other holders of countywide elective offices appear poised to return to the Douglas County Courthouse for second terms.

Such eventualities were confirmed now that Tuesday's noon filing deadline for candidates has passed.

County voters can look forward to the following races leading up to the Aug. 5 primary and Nov. 4 general elections:

Douglas County Commission

In the 2nd District - which represents North Lawrence and much of southeast Lawrence and southeastern Douglas County, including the cities of Eudora and Baldwin City - there are four candidates for the seat held by Commission Chairman Bob Johnson, who is not seeking re-election:

¢ Ken Adkinson, of rural Eudora, and Nancy Thellman, of rural Lawrence, will compete in the Democratic primary. Adkinson, a retired owner and manager of a crop-production business in Eudora, is a member of the Eudora Planning and Zoning Commission. Thellman, a Presbyterian minister, is a leader of Citizens for Responsible Planning, an organization opposed to plans for an industrial park near Lawrence Municipal Airport.

¢ In the Republican primary, Grant Eichhorn, of rural Lawrence, goes up against David L. Brown, of rural Baldwin City. Eichhorn, owner of Lawrence-based Rueschoff Locksmiths and Security Systems, is a member of the Lawrence-Douglas County Planning Commission. Brown recently retired after 32 years with the Douglas County Sheriff's Office.

In the 3rd District - which represents southwest Lawrence, much of northwest Lawrence and the rest of western Douglas County, including the city of Lecompton - four candidates are seeking the seat held by Commissioner Jere McElhaney, who is not seeking re-election:

¢ Ken Grotewiel, Lawrence, and Clenece Hills, rural Lawrence, are competing in the Democratic primary. Grotewiel is a former assistant director of the Kansas Water Office. Hills was a longtime teacher who most recently has taught part time at South Junior High School.

¢ Rural Lawrence residents John Tacha and Jim Flory are facing each other in the Republican primary. Tacha, owner of the Lawrence-based Bureau of Lectures and Concert Artists, is a former president of the Lawrence school board. Flory is retired, having served as first assistant U.S. Attorney General, an interim U.S. Attorney for Kansas and as Douglas County District Attorney.

In each primary race, winners will be on the ballot for the Nov. 4 general election. New commissioners would join incumbent Commissioner Charles Jones on the three-member body.

Other local races

These officeholders are running unopposed for re-election:

¢ Douglas County Sheriff Ken McGovern, a Republican elected in 2004.

¢ Douglas County Clerk Jamie Shew, a Democrat elected four years ago when longtime clerk Patty Jaimes did not seek re-election.

¢ Douglas County Treasurer Paula Gilchrist, a Democrat elected four years ago after running programs for the Salvation Army.

¢ Douglas County Register of Deeds Kay Pesnelll, a Democrat elected four years ago after being appointed to the job in 2002 upon retirement of longtime Register of Deeds Sue Neustifter.

¢ Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson, a Democrat who first was elected four years ago.

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