Two of the candidates running for Wichita school board have considerably more money in their campaign coffers than their competitors, according to financial disclosure forms filed with the Sedgwick County Election Office this week.
Julie Hedrick, a retired architect running for the District 2 seat currently held by Joy Eakins, had raised $8,205 through Oct. 26 – more than any of the other candidates, according to her filing. Her donors include local architects, construction firms and contractors.
Trish Hileman, one of Hedrick’s competitors in District 2, had raised $5,579, according to her disclosure forms. Hileman’s donors include the Committee for Excellence in Education; developer Mike Garvey; Fred Berry of the Berry Cos.; and Bill Pickert, managing partner of the BKD accounting firm.
In District 6, former state school board member Walt Chappell has raised thousands more than his challengers for the seat being vacated by Lynn Rogers.
Chappell raised $7,700 through Oct. 26, according to disclosure forms. His donors include Nestor Weigand of J.P. Weigand & Sons; Martin Eby of Martin K. Eby Construction; and Colby Sandlian of Sandlian Realty.
Chappell is running against Ron Rosales, a teacher in Haysville, and Shirley Jefferson, a retired human resources professional. Rosales had $340 in contributions, according to election documents. Jefferson noted no contributions but declared a $2,000 loan to herself for her campaign.
In the District 1 race, incumbent Betty Arnold filed an exemption declaring that she planned to spend less than $1,000 on the school board race. Arnold, a retired state auditor, is running for a third term on the board.
Arnold’s challenger, Ben Blankley, raised $1,630 through Oct. 26, according to disclosure forms.
In the District 5 race, incumbent Mike Rodee and challenger Peter Grant both filed exemptions declaring they planned to spend less than $1,000.
In Wichita school board elections, voters districtwide have the opportunity to vote for the candidate of their choice from all four BOE districts.
School board members set district policy and oversee a budget of $682 million for a district with about 50,000 students – the state’s largest. Members serve four-year terms and earn no salary.