Election list set for USD 232
School board election fields in De Soto USD 232 are set after Tuesday’s filing deadline, and voters will see some familiar names on the ballots later this spring with six incumbents seeking re-election.
Current board member, Randy Johnson filed for re-election, joining the four previous filers. Johnson also filed for De Soto’s mayoral race.
He said he planned to continue his bid for both positions, as long as the election office allows.
“We still have a ways to go before the election,” Johnson said. “It could be both, one or the other or neither. Just have to see how the people vote.”
Johnson said he decided to run for re-election to maintain the ground he has made the past four years.
“It’s already going to primary,” he said. “I’ve spoken with other candidates. There are some that stand where I stand, but I don’t know if they are truly viable.”
Johnson said that education is his No. 1 issue, but oversight of on the board was also a high priority.
If re-elected to the board, Johnson said it would be his last term.
“I’ll do it another term if given the opportunity,” he said. “I think most people would like to see term limits.”
He joins the four previous filers in the race for Position 4 — Gregory Hines, Jeff Hopkins, Margaret Johnson and Roger Templin. Position 4 encompasses De Soto and unincorporated areas of the district.
Participation in the March 3 primary to trim the list of candidates to three will be limited to those voters living in Position 4.
Two late filings in for the other two seats expiring this spring assured or expanded races for those positions
Position 6 filers Larry Meyer, the incumbent, and Tim Needham were joined by Tammy Thomas. Position 6 covers part of Shawnee and a small area of Lenexa.
In the past, three candidates would have forced a primary in the race, but a law past in the last legislative session requires a greater number of candidates file before an primary is necessary.
That means the candidates running for the two positions to the east of De Soto won’t be on the ballot before the April 7 general election, when their races will be contested districtwide.
Thomas, a homemaker, filed for school board because of the responsibility board members hold in the community.
Thomas, who has lived in the district for 12 years, has a son at Mill Valley and a daughter at Monticello Trails.
“I think we hold a real sense of responsibilities to all the people in the district,” she said.
Thomas said there is a difference between want and need, and the line needs to be sharpened for the board.
Straub, a real estate broker, filed for the school board because he disagrees with some of the boards practices such as not doing competitive bids for professional services and the elimination of some programs from schools.
Straub also serves on the Shawnee city council, a term that ends in April 2010.
For the Position 5 spot incumbent Janine Gracy will face off with Straub, who ran unsuccessfully for the USD 232 board in 2007.