St. Clair, Altenbernd emerge from Shawnee Mission School Board primary, but trail Leavens

Altenbernd, left, waited for the election results to come in at Johnny's in Prairie Village.

Joan Leavens, Bart Altenbernd and John St. Clair have made their way from the Shawnee Mission School Board primary onto the April 5 general election ballot. Mark Anderson, the Mission Hills resident and call-center consultant married to an Indian Hills teacher, was eliminated in voting Tuesday

Leavens took the primary plurality, securing 35 percent of the 8,430 ballots cast across the district. Altenbernd led the SM East-area candidates with 28 percent and St. Clair took 24 percent. Anderson took 15 percent.

At a results watch party with supporters at Johnny’s in Prairie Village Tuesday, Altenbernd said he was happy to move on from the primary, but knew he and St. Clair would be vying for many of the same voters in the general election.

“We had three candidate from the East side of the district, and there’s no doubt that makes it harder,” Altenbernd said. “But I’m enthused to make it out of the primary, and we’ve got five weeks to make up ground.”

Altenbernd said he would be making a concerted effort to reach out to voters in the SM North and SM West regions in hopes of expanding his supporter base.

St. Clair didn’t return our call for comment on his showing.

UPDATED: St. Clair said Wednesday morning he was pleased with his primary showing in that it served as evidence he’d accomplished his goals of getting a campaign organized and developing a message that stuck with voters.

St. Clair said he wasn’t worried about having two candidates from the SM East area on the general ballot.

“I think it’s critically important to reach out to voters throughout the district, because the issues we’re facing aren’t just in the East area,” he said. “The solutions and approaches we’re talking to voters about are for the entire district.”

Fairway City Council Primary

In Fairway, incumbent Tony Liu topped the three man primary race for his Ward 3 seat with 55 percent of the vote. Challenger Bobby Vickers will be on the general election ballot as well, having taken 43 percent. The third candidate, Blake Reeves, took in just 2 percent of the vote (or 6 of the 303 total ballots cast). Liu and Vickers will face off again on April 5.