Two Shawnee residents have joined the race for the Ward 3 council seat, triggering an August primary.
Political newcomers Dawn Rattan and Nick Reed filed their candidacies last month and now face Kurt Knappen, who filed a few months ago. All three are seeking their first elected term on the Shawnee council. Knappen previously filed for the two-year unexpired term against incumbent Lisa Larson-Bunnell for Ward 3 before switching to the race for four-year term.
Because of Ward 3 Councilman Justin Adrian’s resignation in September, there are two separate races in Ward 3: A four-year term and the two-year unexpired term. As such, Shawnee voters will be able to vote in both Ward 3 races.
A resident of Shawnee since 2003, Rattan is seeking her first elected seat on the council. She said sought the appointment last fall, but didn’t have plans to run for office until Councilmember Stephanie Meyer announced her plans to seek the mayoral seat.
“I’m definitely interested in respecting the history of the city, but also looking to have it make some progress and have a bit more economic development,” Rattan said. “If I see something that is a gap, I’ll try to help close the gap instead of just sitting at home and complaining about it.”
As a member of Shawnee Tomorrow, previous volunteer for Sunflower House and owner of EverFit, a boutique gym in Shawnee, Rattan believes she can help bring other amenities to Shawnee residents.
“I love this city; I want money to flow into our city,” she said, adding that she hopes to bring a heart of volunteerism and service to the council and residents.
If elected, she also wants to make sure Shawnee continues to be attractive for residents and businesses to find their roots here. She also cares about continuing strong education and increasing walkability.
Born and raised in Kansas City, Kansas, Rattan holds a chemical engineering degree from Florida A&M University and worked for Procter & Gamble. She was a stay-at-home mother for a few years and co-owns and leads human resources and marketing for Village West Discount Liquors in the Legends area in Kansas City, Kansas. Rattan is also a member of the Shawnee Chamber of Commerce.
She lives in Ward 3 with her husband, Manu Rattan, and two of their three children.
Reed is seeking his first elected office and hopes to see more growth and development in western Shawnee. He also sees opportunity to build and rebuild the city, including along Nieman Road and in the city’s undeveloped areas.
“There will be a time in the next 10 years that we’ll look back and see this place that we all have a pretty strong identity to, and it’ll be much different than it is today,” Reed said, adding that he’d like to be a part of maintaining Shawnee’s identity throughout its growth and progress.
If elected, Reed would like to address the city’s infrastructure needs and economic growth opportunities. He also wants to maintain the city’s identity while finding the balance for that growth.
With his experience opening a business, Reed believes he has the insight on both sides of development — the needs for economic development and also integrating businesses with their neighborhoods.
“Shawnee is on a good track; we have a lot of wonderful things going on,” he said. “It’s not so much about needing change as much as it’s about creating a comprehensive plan for the development.”
Reed is also a member of the Shawnee Chamber of Commerce, president of the Shawnee West Owner’s Association, and a member of Decoding Dyslexia and USD 232 Unite.
A resident of Shawnee since 2007, Reed holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Kansas and has maintained a career in insurance ever since. He runs a State Farm agency in western Shawnee and is a member of Westside Family Church in Lenexa.
He lives in Ward 3 with his wife, Katie Reed, and their two children.