Northeast Johnson County elections 2021 — see who will be on your ballots

The filing deadline for local municipal elections was Tuesday and dozens of candidates filed for city and school board offices around northeast Johnson County. In Overland Park, there is a four-person primary race for mayor and six contested city council contests. File photo.

The filing deadline for candidates running for local offices in northeast Johnson County in 2021 was noon on Tuesday, June 1.

Now that the deadline has passed, here’s a look at the names you’ll see on ballots in the Shawnee Mission area this year — all of which are also outlined on the Johnson County Election Office’s website.


  • Incumbent Melanie Hepperly is the sole candidate running for Fairway Mayor.
  • Ward 2 Councilmember Dan Bailey and Ward 4 Councilmember Tanya Keys are also up for re-election uncontested.
  • The city’s two contested races are in Ward 1, where incumbent Kelly-Ann Buszek will face Blake Allen Marshall, and in Ward 3, where current councilmember David Watkins is being challenged by Susan Leonard, an assistant principal at Shawnee Mission East High School.

Johnson County Community College

  • There are several people running for spots on the Johnson County Community College Board of Directors: Dawn Rattan, Gerry Malnar, Jae Moyer, Joy Koesten, Lee Cross, Mark Hamill, Martha Rose Davis, Paul Snider and Wayne Sandberg.


  • There are four seats up for reelection on the Leawood City Council, and all incumbents are running uncontested.
  • Those incumbents are Councilmember Debra Filla (Ward 1), Mary Larson (Ward 2), Chuck Sipple (Ward 3) and Julie A. Cain (Ward 4).


  • There will be a primary election for the Lenexa City Council in Wards 3 and 4.
  • Corey Hunt is the incumbent running for the Ward 3 seat, and will face challengers Gael A. Wheeler, Laura Hill and Melanie Arroyo, in the August 3 primary.
  • Councilmember Mandy Stuke is not running for re-election in Ward 4. Instead, residents Craig K. Denny, Hophine Bwosinde and Scott Callaway will compete in the August primary.
  • Incumbents Joe Karlin and Bill Nicks are up for re-election in Wards 1 and 2, respectively, and are uncontested.


  • Mayor Ken Sissom is vacating his seat, and Ward 4 Councilmember Bob Pape will face off against resident Angel Lopez III in the November election.
  • With current Councilmember Brian Knaff not seeking re-election for a Ward 2 seat, three residents will face one another in the August primary: Amy Rider, Nancy Hammond and Richard Rick Gendvil.
  • Ward 1 Councilmember Scott Diebold is not seeking re-election, and resident Jacob Laha is running uncontested for that seat.
  • Ward 4 Councilmember David Neal is seeking re-election and will run against Staci Chivetta — who lost against Pape in 2019.
  • Ward 3 Councilmember Chris Evans Hands is also seeking re-election and is running uncontested.

Merriam Drainage District

  • Incumbents Eric Jackson and Sam Matier are seeking re-election to the Merriam Drainage District Board of Directors, and Dan Leap is running to replace Gerald Becker.


  • Mayor Ron Appletoft is not running for reelection. Councilmembers Arcie Rothrock and Sollie Flora are running against one another to replace Appletoft.
  • Rothrock’s and Flora’s decisions to run for mayor open up their seats on the council. For Rothrock’s Ward 2 seat, Joe Donaway, Keith Viken and Lea Loudon are competing against each other, while Ben Chociej and Ray Ruecker will face one another for Flora’s Ward 4 seat.
  • Councilmembers Hillary Thomas Parker and Debbie Kring are seeking re-election for their Wards 1 and 3 seats, respectively, and face no opposition.

Mission Hills

  • Mayor David Dickey is seeking re-election for a second term and is uncontested.
  • Incumbents Bill Bruning and Barbara Nelson are seeking re-election for their current council positions and are unopposed.

Mission Woods

  • Mayor Darrell Franklin is seeking re-election without a challenge.
  • In addition, all five city council seats (which are at-large) are up for election and there are six candidates vying for those offices. They include three incumbents, Lauren Aleshire, Chris Brent and Selina Bur, along with challengers Donald Greenwell III, Jason Eubanks and former mayor Robert Tietze.

Overland Park

  • With Mayor Carl Gerlach stepping down, there is a contested mayoral race in Overland Park. City Council President Curt Skoog and Councilmember Faris Farassati, along with attorney Clay Norkey and business executive Mike Czinege, will face off in the August primary.
  • There are six city council seats up for election, with four races drawing enough candidates to necessitate August primaries.
  • In Ward 1, Councilmember Logan Heley is seeking re-election and will face a primary contest in August with challengers Carol Merritt, Michael Czerniewski and Ryan Spencer.
  • In Ward 2, residents Melissa Cheatham, Roger Tarbutton and Tony Medina will vie against one another in the August primary.
  • In Ward 3, incumbent Jim Kite faces a challenge from Amanda Vega-Mavec in November.
  • In Ward 4, incumbent Councilmember Stacie Gram is seeking re-election and will face a primary challenge from Scott Mosher and Ty Gardner.
  • In Ward 5, Amy Goodman-Long, Sam Passer and Sheila Rodriguez will compete against one another in August’s primary.
  • In Ward 6, incumbent Chris Newlin will face off against challenger Jeffrey Cox in November.

Prairie Village

  • There are three contested races for Prairie Village City Council.
  • In Ward 1, Cole Robinson and Thorne Daimler are running for the seat being vacated by Jori Nelson.
  • In Ward 4, Dave Robinson and Jessica Priestland are running for the seat being vacated by Sheila Myers.
  • In Ward 5, Gregory Shelton and John Beeder are running for Dan Runion’s seat.
  • Meanwhile, incumbents Ronald Nelson and Terrence Gallagher are seeking re-election in Wards 2 and 6, respectively, and face no challengers.
  • In Ward 3, Lauren Wolf is running unopposed for the seat being vacated by Councilmember Tucker Poling.

Roeland Park

  • There are no contested races in Roeland Park this election season.
  • Mayor Mike Kelly is seeking re-election unopposed, along with Ward 1 Councilmember Tom Madigan and Ward 2 Councilmember Jen Hill.
  • Kate Raglow is the sole candidate running for the Ward 3 seat being vacated by Councilmember Claudia McCormack.
  • Michael Poppa, who did not seek re-election in 2019, is running for the Ward 4 seat being vacated by Jim Kelly.


  • All of Shawnee’s races on the ballot are contested.
  • In Ward 1, Sophia Theodore and Tony Gillette are seeking the seat being vacated by Matt Zimmerman.
  • In Ward 4, Jacklynn Walters and Kevin Makalous are running for the seat being vacated by Lindsey Constance.
  • In Ward 2, incumbent Mike Kemmling is seeking re-election against a challenge from Eric Persson.
  • In Ward 3, incumbent Lisa Larson-Bunnell is seeking re-election and facing a challenge from Angela Stiens.

Shawnee Mission School District Board of Education

  • Three races for seats on the Shawnee Mission Board of Education are all contested.
  • Current at-large member and board president Heather Ousley is seeking re-election against challenger Brian Neilson.
  • Incumbent board member Mary Sinclair is seeking re-election for the SM East area seat against Zach Roberts.
  • For the SM West area seat being vacated by Laura Guy, April Boyd-Noronha and Sean Claycamp are competing against one another.

WaterOne District

  • Incumbent Kay Heley is seeking re-election for the Board Member 3 spot against challengers Joann Atchity and Steve Gordon.
  • Incumbent Member 4 Bob Reese is also seeking re-election against a challenge from Jeffrey Mendoza.
  • Jill Westra and Missey Smith are running for Brenda Cherpitel’s Member 5 seat.


  • Three incumbents are running for the three at-large seats on the Westwood City Council. That includes current Council President Jeff Harris, along with Jason Hannaman and Andrew Buckman.

Westwood Hills

  • Mayor Paula Schwach is seeking re-election, uncontested.
  • There are six people — five of whom are incumbents — running for Councilmember At-Large: David Schmitz, Ed Gogol, Karen Sexton, Ludwig Villasi, Michael Anfang and Rosemary Podrebarac.

USD 232 De Soto Board of Education

  • The three races for the USD 232 De Soto Board of Education are all contested.
  • Crystal Duke and Danielle Heikes are vying for the member 4 spot being vacated by Rachele Zade.
  • Brandi Jonasson and Emily Carpenter are running for the member 6 spot currently held by board president Danielle Heikes.
  • Incumbent John Gaignat is seeking re-election for his member 5 spot against challengers Amy Parker and Calley Malloy.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Mission Woods city councilmember Lauren Aleshire was the sole incumbent in the race against five challengers. The race for five at-large council seats includes three incumbents and three challengers.