Hunter’s lead over Neighbor increases to 18 votes in updated Election Office tally

Mandi Hunter (left) widened her lead over incumbent Cindy Neighbor (seated) in the updated vote count.
Mandi Hunter (left) widened her lead over incumbent Cindy Neighbor (seated) in the updated vote count.

Mandi Hunter’s hopes to advance to November’s general election ballot in the race for the at-large seat on the Shawnee Mission School Boar currently occupied by Cindy Neighbor appeared to get a boost Friday afternoon.

In an updated vote tally from the Johnson County Election Office that included mail-in ballots postmarked by 7 p.m. Tuesday that had been received by the Election Office over the past three days, Hunter’s lead over Neighbor grew from the 7 votes in Tuesday’s tally to 18 votes.

Hunter had 3,666 votes behind her on Tuesday. With Friday’s count, that number had grown to 3,714.

Neighbor had 3,659 votes on Tuesday. On Friday, she had 3,696.

The canvassing board will meet at 9 a.m. Monday to certify the counts from advanced voting and Election Day ballots as well as to vet provisional ballots.

Should Hunter maintain her advantage once the provisional ballot process is wrapped up, she’d secure the right to challenge Heather Ousley, who led the five-candidate field by wide margin in Tuesday’s tally, in the general. It would also mean Neighbor, a 20 year veteran of the board, would see her tenure coming to an end.

Ousley saw the biggest vote total increase with the addition of the mail in ballot, going from 7,510 votes on Tuesday to 7,579 Friday.

The canvassing board will meet at 9 a.m. at the Johnson County Election Office in Olathe.