By Allen Edmonds
Filing for local political office may have been among the most popular winter sports this year, but the season closed on Tuesday and the ballot appears set.
Not surprisingly, Belton’s city council and mayoral races drew the most interest after several years of controversy eventually led to a citizen petition state audit that recently began.
The mayoral race drew the most interest, as two-term incumbent Jeff Davis is being challenged by Ward 3 councilmember Stephanie Davidson, former fire chief and current Belton School Board member Norman Larkey and former Belton Council for Economic Development President Art Ruiz.
Ward 1’s council seat, currently held by Ryan Finn, will be decided between former councilmember Perry Gough and current Planning Commission Chairman Tom MacPherson. Finn did not file for re-election.
In Ward 2, incumbent Dean VanWinkle just this week filed for re-election. He is being challenged by Angela Kraft, James Pryan and Daniel Roberts.
In Ward 3, Allyson Lawson and Skyler Kee will face off for Davidson’s seat.
And in Ward 4, incumbent Gary Lathrop will face challenges from Steven Hackett, Rob Powell and Brett White.
Another active race has taken shape in the Raymore-Peculiar School District, where incumbent Billy King will face challenges from Athenia Ingram of Peculiar and Thomas Walsh, Janet Jones, Deanna Olson and Susan Emonsond, all of Raymore, for two seats.
Fellow incument Ashley Jones did not file for re-election.
Raymore’s City Council will have two races. Incumbent Jale Jacobson will face a challenge from Sheneda Candieas Mirador in Ward 1 and incumbent Joe Burke will be challenged by Joe Sarsfield in Ward 2.
Ward 3 incumbent Kevin Barber and Ward 4 incumbent John Berendzen are unopposed.
In the South Metro Fire District, incumbent Mike Van Aken, and challengers Mary Lacy and Greg Pool will face off for two open positions.
In the West Peculiar Fire District, incumbent Monte Crosby was the only one to file for the six-year term, and incumbent Diana Englebrick filed for the two-year term. No election will be necessary.
In the Belton School District, incumbent Jim Amilio and David Daniels are the only candidates for the two open slots.