A week before filing deadline, city ballots starting to fill up – though some NEJC races still have no candidates


The deadline for candidates to file for this fall’s municipal elections is noon on June 1 — just a week away. And while the candidate rosters haver started to flesh out, many council-level seats still don’t have anyone officially declared.

Below is a summary of who is running for what (so far) in northeast Johnson County:


Councilmembers Melanie Hepperly and James Poplinger will be squaring off to replace Jerry Wiley in the mayor’s office. In Ward 2, Dan Bailey and former councilman J.D. Fair are seeking election. And incumbents David Watkins of Ward 3 and Tanya Keys of Ward 4 are presently running unchallenged for reelection.


Incumbents Debra Filla (Ward 1), Chuck Sipple (Ward 3), Lisa Harrison (Ward 3), and Julie Cain (Ward 4) have all filed for reelection with no challengers. Mary Larson has filed for the Ward 2 seat currently occupied by Steven Kaster.


Incumbent Mayor Ken Sissom has filed for election to a third term and currently faces no challenger. Incumbents Scott Diebold (Ward 1), Brian Knaff (Ward 2), Christine Evans Hands (Ward 3), and Cheryl Moore (Ward 4) are all running for reelection as well. Only Moore faces a challenger, frequent city council meeting attendee Sam Matier.


Ron Appletoft is the only candidate so far looking to succeed outgoing Mayor Steve Schowengerdt, who announced last month he did not intend to seek a second term. Newcomers Terri Baugh and Hillary Parker Thomas are filed for the Ward 1 council seat currently occupied by Tom Geraghty, who has not filed for reelection. In Ward 2, incumbent Arcie Rothrock will face challenger Steve Betzold. Incumbent Debbie Kring is unchallenged for her Ward 3 seat. And two challengers, Sollie Flora and Bill Nichols, have filed to run against incumbent Suzie Gibbs in Ward 4.

Mission Hills

Councilman David Dickey is the only candidate filed to replace outgoing Mayor Rick Boeshaar, who is termed out. Three candidates, Bill Bruning, Charles Payne and current councilmember Barbara Nelson, have filed for the two open at-large city council seats on November’s ballot.

Mission Woods

Incumbent Robert Tietze is unopposed in seeking a two-year term in the mayor’s office for the tiny municipality. Three people, Thomas A. Clemente, Amy McAnarney, and Joan Ruff, have filed in the election for five at-large city council seats.

Overland Park

Incumbent Carl Gerlach is seeking a new term as mayor, and will face a challenge from Charlotte O’Hara. In Ward 1, three candidates — former statehouse candidate Logan Heley, Dean Mercer, and Stephen Wyatt — are all filed to challenge incumbent Dave Janson, setting up the only primary in the city. Curt Skoog is unopposed in seeking a new terms to his Ward 2 seat, as are Jim Kite in Ward 3, Terry Goodman in Ward 4 and John H. Thompson in Ward 5. Faris Farassati, who was recently appointed to the council to fill John Skubal’s seat after he resigned to focus on his work in the state capitol, is the only candidate filed to fill that seat’s two-year unexpired term. Chris Newline is the only candidate filed for the Ward 6 seat.

Prairie Village

Incumbents Jori Nelson of Ward 1 and Dan Runion of Ward 5 have filed for reelection — but the elections for the city council seats currently held by Steve Noll, Eric Mikkelson, Sheila Myers, and Terrence Gallagher currently have no candidates filed. Noll has announced he does not intend to seek reelection.

Roeland Park

Attorney Mike Kelly, chair of the city’s Sustainability Committee and Foundation Advisory Board, filed Wednesday to run for mayor, and is currently the only candidate. (Full story on Kelly coming tomorrow morning). Tom Madigan has filed for the Ward 1 seat currently held by Sheri McNeil, and Jim Kelly filed for the Ward 4 seat currently held by Teresa Kelly. But no incumbents have filed for reelection, and there are no candidates at present for the open seats in Ward 2 and Ward 3.


Incumbents Lisa Cummins and Jason Hannaman have filed for reelection to the council. Jeff Harris has also entered the race, where voters will choose three candidates for the city’s at-large council seats.

Westwood Hills

Incumbent Mayor Paula Schwach is seeking another term, and as councilmembers Karen Shelor Sexton and Ludwig G. Villasi. Five at-large seats are open on the council this election cycle.