Ron Shaffer and Laura McConwell, the two candidates with by far the most political experience, emerged from the primary in the First District County Commission race with more than 62 percent of the vote between them, eliminating three other candidates. Shaffer and McConwell, both long-time mayors, will face off in November.
Shaffer was jubilant with his first-place finish at his post-election party. He captured 32.8 percent of the total vote to McConwell’s 29.4 percent. Shaffer ended with 5,010 votes to McConwell’s second-place finish of 4,478 votes, a 532-vote difference. However, 5,758 votes were split among the other three candidates in the crowded field.
Conservative Rachel Sciolaro had 2,629 votes for 17.2 percent; Mark Nauser had 2,278 votes for 14.9 percent and Alex DiCarlo had 851 votes for 5.6 percent.
McConwell said the narrowing of the field in the primary set up a cleaner and clearer race in the fall. Her 12 years as mayor in Mission, she said, was a time of lots of changes. She said her leadership style is to “bring everybody together” which will serve the county well as it faces long-term issues such as poverty, infrastructure and an aging population. McConwell supporters at her election party looked toward a new start for the November campaign.
Shaffer, the mayor of Prairie Village, said moving beyond the primary would give he and McConwell a chance to discuss issues and focus on the qualities and experience they each bring to the race.
Nauser, a first time candidate, said he had learned a lot in his first campaign experience.