City councilman Andrew Wang, who fell 271 votes short of securing a slot on the November general election ballot, has endorsed Serena Schermoly in the race for Prairie Village mayor.
Schermoly is facing former city councilman Eric Mikkelson, who took more than 50 percent of the total vote in the three-person August primary, for the city’s top elected position following Mayor Laura Wassmer’s decision not to seek a second term. Wang took 20.71 percent of the primary vote. Schermoly finished with 24.64 percent of the primary vote.
Wang said he felt Schermoly was the best fit for the job based on her temperament.
“Character counts, folks, maybe more than any other factor in this mayor’s race,” Wang said. ” I want a mayor who has run an honorable campaign, the one with transparent goals, the one whose comments and commentary have been accurate and earnest, the one whose endorsers I respect and admire, the one who has chosen not to needlessly enlist a major political party to propel her campaign. Serena is the only candidate who is equal to those measures.”
Though the race is non-partisan, Mikkelson’s campaign literature has been available at the Johnson County Democratic Party’s offices.
Schermoly said she was proud to have the support of a long-sitting member of the council.
“I appreciate the support of Andrew a man with integrity, loyalty and who has worked so long and so hard for his residents,” she said. “Andrew understands the issues facing our city and has devoted his time and energy to making the best choices for Prairie Village.”
In response to the announcement, Mikkelson said was “honored to have been endorsed and supported in this campaign by a diverse, bipartisan range of groups and people, including Mainstream Coalition and three current Prairie Village City Council members, including Republicans and Democrats.”
He also pointed to the primary election results, which saw him garner more than twice the support of either of his competitors.
“The people of Prairie Village tend to be good judges of character,” Mikkelson said. “By knocking doors and meeting voters in person, our campaign earned the support of most voters, by large margins, in last month’s three-way primary election. While I understand Andy’s frustration with those results, it is disappointing to see him vent in such a negative, partisan manner. For my part, I will continue to seek common ground with him and all Prairie Village residents, regardless of party affiliation, for the good of Prairie Village.”
Mikkelson lists current Prairie Village councilmembers Tucker Poling, Jori Nelson and Dan Runion among his endorsers. He has also been endorsed by Kansas Rep. Jerry Stogsdill and Shawnee city councilmember Lindsey Constance.
Aside from Wang, no sitting members of the Prairie Village governing body have endorsed Schermoly, though she does list a number of community committee volunteers and former candidates for office on her site.
The Shawnee Mission Post will host a forum for Mikkelson and Schermoly ahead of the general election on Thursday, October 11 at Village Presbyterian Church. We’re soliciting forum topics from readers, so if you’ve got an issue you’d like to hear the candidates address, let us know.