With all the energy and money expended on the November elections, it might be easy to overlook Tuesday’s local primary elections. But key issues are at stake, and your participation in choosing City Council and school board leaders is important.
In Wichita, three City Council seats are open. In addition, one incumbent council member is running for re-election (but doesn’t have a primary), and Mayor Carl Brewer is seeking a second term. So significant changes are coming to the council.
Among the issues the next council will wrestle with are job creation and retention, the use of economic development incentives, and efforts to redevelop downtown — all while coping with ongoing budget challenges.
Local school boards face even bigger challenges. The state likely will dramatically cut base funding for schools. Meanwhile, the achievement demands of the No Child Left Behind law keep increasing. So districts will be expected to achieve more with less money.
In Wichita, only one of three school board races has a primary — the open at-large seat. But that race has 11 candidates, and the top three vote-getters will advance to the April 5 general election.
All the City Council primary races have at least four candidates; the top two vote-getters in each will move on to the general election. The number of candidates means it might not take a large percentage of the vote to advance. As a result, each primary vote may matter even more.
If you are still unsure of whom to vote for, The Eagle has a voter’s guide at thevoterguide.org/v/wichita11/. It has background information on the candidates and their stances on issues.
The Eagle editorial board’s endorsements are listed below. You can read the full endorsements at Kansas.com/opinion.
But it’s your endorsement at the voting booth that matters. Be sure to make it.
The following are The Eagle editorial board’s endorsements for Tuesday’s primary election:
Wichita City Council
Steve Harris District 3
Wichita school board