At least one candidate for each seat as filing deadline nears
As the filing deadline approaches, there is at least one candidate for each elected position on the Bonner and Edwardsville ballots in this spring’s city and county elections.
Three city seats are uncontested: Joe Peterson for Ward 4 Bonner council and incumbents Rodger Shannon for Ward 3 Bonner council and John “Tiny” McTaggart for Edwardsville mayor. At the county level, Harold Walker for District 2 at-large Unified Government commissioner and incumbent Don Ash for sheriff have no opposition.
Here is the complete candidate list thus far for city and county positions that will be on the April ballot in Bonner Springs and/or Edwardsville; (i) denotes an incumbent:
Bonner Springs City Council
• Jeff Harrington
• Jack Knight
• George Cooper (i)
• Don Beets
• Tom Stephens (i)
• Ryan Beasley
• Rodger Shannon (i)
• Joe Peterson
Edwardsville City Council
• John “Tiny” McTaggart
Council members (two at-large seats)
• Mark Bishop (i)
• Jason Gillam
• Bryan Smith
USD 204 Board of Education (three at-large seats)
• Ray Cox (i)
• Jeff Barger (i)
• Chris McDonnell
• Jeff Tinberg (i)
• David Toland
Unified Government County Commission/ other county seats:
• Nathan Barnes
• Ann Brandau-Murguia
• Mark R. Holland
• Cordell D. Meeks III
• Janice (Grant) Witt
At-Large Dist. 2
• Harold “Hal” Walker
• Tom Cooley (i)
• Jim Walters
• Don Ash (i)
KCKCC Board of Trustees
• Cathy Breidenthal
• Wendell Maddox
• LaVert A. Murray
• John “J.D.” Rios (i)
• Steven Samuels
With City Halls and the county election office closed Monday due to Martin Luther King Day, any interested candidates will only have a few hours Tuesday morning before the filing deadline at noon.
Among the most recent candidates to add their names to the ballot were Don Beets for Ward 1 Bonner council; Ryan Beasley for Ward 2 Bonner council; incumbent Mark Bishop for one of Edwardsville’s two at-large council seats; Peterson; and Chris McDonnell for USD 204 Board of Education.
Beets, 66, is a retired business manager for Hallmark Cards and represented Ward 3 on the Bonner council from 1982 to 1988, stepping down because he moved to another ward. He also spent 20 years as a volunteer firefighter with the Bonner Springs Fire Department, “retiring” with the rank of battalion chief in 1999.
Since 1988, Beets has served as a member of the planning and zoning commission and said he was ready to go back to a higher level of community service.
“Now that I’m retired, have time to do that again,” said Beets, who filed for candidacy Jan. 15. “I think with my business background, I’ve got some things to offer.”
Beets will face incumbent Councilman George Cooper.
Beasley, 37, is a firefighter with the Kansas City Kansas Fire Department. He said he has lived in Bonner since 2005 and was approached by a few community members about running for council.
“I’m running just to get involved with the community,” said Beasley, who filed Jan. 16.
Beasley said if elected, he would like to push the city to move toward having a full-time fire department.
He will face incumbent Councilman Tom Stephens.
Peterson, 42, who filed Thursday, Jan. 17, is a transportation supervisor for the Turner school district. He said his family moved to Bonner Springs because his son has special needs, and they thought the Bonner school district was the best option for him.
Peterson said he has been learning about community issues since moving here and he wants to see Bonner take advantage of the opportunities he sees with the growth in western Wyandotte County, adding he would like to see Bonner's businesses thrive.
“I’d just like an opportunity to help in any way possible to take advantage of that,” he said.
McDonnell, 41, filed for the school board Jan. 17 and continues the trend of firefighters hoping to be elected public servants. The Edwardsville resident also is a firefighter with the Kansas City Kansas Fire Department and said he decided to run for school board because he has two children and two stepchildren in the Bonner Springs-Edwardsville school district.
“It’s just an opportunity to serve, and it would be nice to have another person from Edwardsville on the board,” he said.
David Toland and incumbents Jeff Barger, Ray Cox and Jeff Tinberg also are vying for one of the three at-large school board seats.