Three file for mayor’s race; five for city council
After all the smoke had settled, five candidates had filed for Baldwin City Council positions and three for the mayor’s post.
The three candidates for mayor — incumbent Gary Walbridge, Council Member Ken Wagner and one-time Council Member George McCrary — have a wealth of experience. The five council candidates are all newcomers.
Incumbent Council Members Amy Cleavinger and Doyle Jardon chose not to run for re-election. The five seeking their seats on the council are Tom Farmer, Ric Gere, Russ Gill, Chris Nichols and Bonnie Plumberg.
All eight candidates will square off in the April 7 election. There will be no primary. Initially, Douglas County Clerk Jamie Shew noted that most of the filing action was coming from Baldwin City. But other communities finally got candidates.
“I think it puts you on par with Eudora and Lawrence on city filings,” said Shew. “For school board, Eudora and Lawrence have races, but not Baldwin City.”
There also was a sixth candidate who filed for council, but Dan Broers withdrew this week.
“I pulled my name off the ballot for city council,” said Broers, citing newly developed family obligations that prevented him from running this time around. “I think it’s something I will pursue in two years,” he said of filing again.
Shew said withdrawals aren’t uncommon.
“No, it happens every now and then,” he said. “It’s happened more with city and school than others, but it has happened.”
Walbridge and Wagner have both cited their interest in the mayor’s position as a result of the tough times ahead regarding budgets. McCrary was unavailable for comment last week. He just wants to be involved.
“Just to participate and be part of the city,” McCrary said of his reason to run. “Hopefully add some leadership, add some direction, I guess. It’s good to have people involved. I’ve been involved in the past and want to be in the future.
“Let’s see what the election brings,” he said.
McCrary successfully ran for city council in 2000. However, he resigned after a year on the council as a result of an ongoing problem with the police department. He doesn’t think that’s the situation now.
“I don’t see that our city is confronting issues like it was then,” said McCrary. “We aren’t facing that now. My family is in a different place. I’m more mature.”