County voters choose Surbaugh as first Commission chair
The two headline races in Johnson County offered something new and something familiar.
The familiar was provided by Dennis Moore's bid to retain his 3rd District U.S. House seat. He did so in much the same way he won the position in 1998 and retained it in 2000. A 15,000-vote plurality in Wyandotte County helped Moore overcome a 14,000-vote deficit in heavily Republican Johnson County.
In what was expected to be a close election, current County Commissioner Annabeth Surbaugh easily defeated Charlotte O'Hara in the race to become the first person elected to the newly created Johnson County Commission chair position.
The campaign for what some are calling the Johnson County mayor was noteworthy for its cost. Surbaugh estimated she would spend $200,000 on the campaign, while O'Hara, who ran on a controlled-growth platform, reported spending $241,000 of her own money.
"I guess I had more friends than she had money," Surbaugh said. "I'm very pleased with the results."
Surbaugh said she would be pleased to meet with Doug Wood, who won re-election in the District of eastern Olathe and western Overland Park, and newly elected commissioners John Toplikar, Ed Peterson and Dolores Furtado in the coming weeks to develop her agenda for the coming year.
Toplikar defeated Chuck Kurtz in the 6th Commission District, which includes De Soto. Toplikar, who gave up his seat in the Kansas House to run for the newly created district, said his approach to county government would be the same that he had in Topeka during the last 10 years.
"I think main thing is the budget," he said. "That's the first thing I'm going to take a look at look at each department's budget and see where cuts can be made."
Olathe Republican Rob Boyer used a strong showing in Johnson County to overcome Eudora Democrat Carlie Abel support in Douglas County.
Boyer begins meetings this week in preparation for the Legislature's upcoming session.
"Unfortunately there's not time for rest," he said.
Johnson County results
(* denotes winner):
Turnout, 164,525 of 333,710 registered voters (49.3 percent)
3rd U.S. House District Dennis Moore* (D) 72,436; Adam Taff (R), 86,517; Dawn Bly (F), 3,973; and Douglas Martin (L), 775.
Governor Dennis Hawver (L), 1,289; Ted Pettibone, 878; Kathleen Sebelius* (D), 75,691; and Tim Shallenburger (R), 85,363.
Attorney general Chris Biggs (D), 71,018; and Phill Kline (R), 89,780.
Johnson County Chair Charlotte O'Hara, 59,841; and Annabeth Surbaugh, 89,855.
Johnson County 6th Commission John Toplikar, 11,639; and Chuck Kurtz, 8,558.
Johnson County 5th Commission District Doug Wood, 10,067; and Dick Holdman, 7,981.
38th Kansas House District (Johnson and Douglas county precincts) Carlie Abel (D), 3,784; and Rob Boyer (R), 4,684