Elections

City Council, school board candidates

File photo

The vast majority of Wichita voters will sit out the August city and school board primary election this year.

The only Wichita city race that drew enough candidates to trigger a primary election is City Council District 1, in the northeast part of town. Four candidates will contest the nonpartisan primary in that district. It will be held on Aug. 1, with the top two vote-getters advancing to the general election on Nov. 7.

District 1 is an open seat. Incumbent Lavonta Williams can’t seek re-election because of term limits. Races in Districts 3 and 6 have two candidates each. They’ll automatically advance to November.

Wichita school district voters will consider four races in November. No seat had the four candidates needed to schedule a primary.

Thursday was the filing deadline for local offices.

Here’s who is running.

Wichita City Council

District 1, northeast

Incumbent Lavonta Williams cannot run again because of term limits.

Brandon Johnson: Johnson founded the advocacy group Community Operations Recovery Empowerment in 2011. CORE is active in police/community relations, economic development, youth mentoring and establishing community gardens. He is a member of the District 1 District Advisory Board and a former member of the Kansas Advisory Group on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

Mike Kinard: Kinard served on the Wichita school board from 2001 to 2005 and is a former candidate for Congress. He owns a photography/video/archiving company. He is a former board member of the Wichita YMCA and the Urban League of Kansas.

John Stevens: Stevens is a longtime conservative activist and a former candidate for the state House of Representatives. He is president of the Wichita Pachyderm Republican Club.

Janet Wilson: Wilson is a neighborhood activist and a member of the Wichita Transit Advisory Board. She works for neighborhood improvement and blight reduction in the northeast community. She also serves on the board of Wichita Independent Neighborhoods.

District 3, southeast

James Clendenin: Clendenin is nearing the end of his first four-year term. He says he wants to stay on and continue working to improve the economy and public safety in the area, which includes the low-income Planeview and Hilltop areas.

William Stofer: A writer and illustrator, Stofer is the creator of the comic series “Organic Man.” Active in the arts and entertainment community, Stofer started Organic Publishing, a not-for-profit design and marketing cooperative supporting local causes. He also has started a website for the public to exchange ideas for municipal improvement.

District 6, north-central

Incumbent Janet Miller cannot run again because of term limits.

Cindy Claycomb: Claycomb is the president of the city Parks Commission and chairwoman of the Wichita Downtown Development Corp. She’s a board member of the District 6 Advisory Board, the Greater Wichita Partnership, the Wichita State University Alumni Association, the Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce and Botanica.

Sybil Strum: Strum is a vocal critic of City Hall. She attends nearly all City Council meetings and regularly speaks on multiple agenda items.

Wichita school board

District 1, northeast

Betty Arnold: Arnold, of Wichita, has been a member of the school board since 2011. She served two one-year terms as president and two one-year terms as vice president of the board. She is retired from a position as an auditor with the Kansas Department of Labor.

Ben Blankley: Blankley, of Wichita, is an engineer at Spirit AeroSystems. He has served on Wichita Community Theatre’s board of directors for seven years, four of which he was president. He also is a council representative for the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace-International Federation of Professional & Technical Engineers Local 2001.

District 2, east

Incumbent Joy Eakins is not seeking re-election.

Julie Hedrick: Hedrick, of Wichita, retired from Wichita public schools after working for over 25 years in the facilities division. She retired as the division director of facilities and is an architect. In 2006, she received the excellence in public service award.

Trish Hileman: Hileman, of Wichita, works as an independent contractor/bookkeeper and is a mother of five. She has experience serving on not-for-profit boards, including the College Hill Neighborhood Association and the Christa McAuliffe Academy Parent Teacher Organization.

Debra Washington: Washington, of Wichita, has been involved with the school district for 30 years as a parent. She is a Realtor and previously the chairwoman of ladies' education at the Church of Christ.

District 5, west

Peter Grant: Grant, of Wichita, works at Kansas Star Casino as a table games dealer. He is on the board of the Mid-Kansas Jewish Federation and co-president of the Congregation Emanu-El Brotherhood.

Mike Rodee: Rodee, of Wichita, has been a board member since 2013. He was vice president of the board in 2015-16. He works for South Central Sealing and participates in the Kansas Association of School Boards and Council of the Great City Schools.

District 6, north-central

Incumbent Lynn Rogers, now a state senator, is not seeking re-election to the school board.

Walt Chappell: Chappell, of Wichita, is a former state school board member who spent over 40 years teaching K-12 and college students. He also served as the budget and planning coordinator for a federal project with 125 schools in six states.

Shirley A. Jefferson: Jefferson, of Kechi, is a substitute teacher and clerical worker for the school district and a retired human resources professional. She served as a board member from 2005 to 2007.

Ron Rosales: Rosales, of Wichita, is a high school teacher in Haysville.

Kaitlyn Alanis: 316-268-6213, @KaitlynAlanis, kalanis@wichitaeagle.com

Dion Lefler: 316-268-6527, @DionKansas, dlefler@wichitaeagle.com

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