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  • Writer's pictureRoger Sims, Journal Staff

Write-in votes impact outcomes of city and school board races

Updated: Dec 1, 2023



MOUND CITY – Linn County Clerk David Lamb released updated vote totals Wednesday afternoon, Nov. 8, that show that write-in votes will impact the final results of the vote taken on Tuesday, Nov. 7.


Lamb cautioned that the vote totals are still not final. There are provisional votes – ballots that were earmarked by poll workers because there was an issue – and advanced ballots postmarked on or before election day if they are received by Friday, Nov. 10, that could still be counted.


The results will not be official until the canvass by the Linn County Commission on Nov. 20.


However, it appears that Mathew Young will be the next mayor of Pleasanton, thanks to 141 write-in votes cast on Tuesday. Write-ins are also expected to impact city council races for the Parker and La Cygne city councils as well as two seats on the Prairie View USD 362 school board.


Here is what we know for sure: The 1-cent sales tax issues for both Pleasanton and Linn Valley passed. And Janet Reynolds and Deborah Wakefield, with no opposition, were unanimously elected to represent Linn County on the Marais des Cygnes Extension board.


The Pleasanton sales tax targeted to street repair and maintenance received nearly 67% of the vote with 157 ballots supporting the measure and 79 opposed.


The Linn Valley sales tax to purchase a firetruck and other emergency equipment received nearly 73% of the vote with 181 ballots cast in favor and 68 opposed.


Pleasanton

In Pleasanton, with the 141 write-in votes, Young had nearly twice the total number of votes for candidates who filed for the post on June 1. Despite announcing last month that she was no longer running for the post, former Linn County Commissioner Vicki Leonard still received the most votes of the names on the ballot.


Leonard had 37 votes, Ron Howard had 28, Kevin Lodge had 21, and there were 145 write-in votes. Young, who is president of the Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce, launched his write-in campaign about the same time that Leonard announced she was withdrawing from the race.


Angelina “Angie” Randall and William “Bill” Skipper III were elected to take over the two Pleasanton City Council posts. Randall received 160 votes, Skipper had 125, Kenny Stark received 86 votes and Chris Martin got 64.


La Cygne

La Cygne’s incumbent Mayor Debra Wilson will serve another four-year term. She received more than 51% of the total with 69 votes. Challenger David Brenneman, a member of the city council, received 41 votes and Robert Sullivan had 21 votes.


La Cygne Council Member Jerome Mitzner will retain his seat on the council. Ed Smith received four of the 31 write-in votes for the other vacant council post, and six people received two votes each. That would qualify Smith to claim a seat on the council unless mail or provisional ballots pick another candidate.



Linn Valley

Two of three incumbents in the race for Linn Valley City Council will not retain their seats following Tuesday’s vote. Incumbent Brenda Muncy received 133 votes and will remain.


In addition to Muncy, the winners were Dan Donham with 156 votes and Richard Gravelle with 113 votes. Incumbents John Weers and Robert Suppenbach finished out of the money with 103 votes and 111 votes respectively, and so did Connie Capps, who received 97 votes.


Mound City

Mound City Mayor Wade Doering retained his post after receiving 100% of the 71 votes cast. Lawrence Forbach will retain his seat on the city council after receiving 29 votes and Jessie Carr received 66 votes, enough to replace long-time Council Member Shayna Lamb, who opted not to run for re-election.


Parker

Ashley Balthazor had no formal opposition as mayor of Parker. A former city council president who was drafted into the mayoral post when the previous mayor resigned, Balthazor received nearly 83% of the 40 votes cast in the race. The remaining seven votes were write-ins.


While Jason Webber is expected to retain his post as council member, he received 33% of the 60 votes cast. The other 40 votes were write-ins, and Ivonne Clark received 19 of those votes, enough for a council seat if she chooses to accept it.


And while there were two Parker council seats up for election, Council Member Jerry Summers submitted his letter of resignation from the council last month.


Blue Mound and Prescott

The elections in Blue Mound and Prescott essentially returned current officeholders for another four years. Mayor Russell Beth and council members Christopher Bownes, Marri Krupco, and Robert Purdy were re-elected. So were Prescott council members Zachary Gillis, Rolland Grigsby, and Daniel “Fritz” Norbury.


School board races

Pleasanton USD 344

For those who complain about spouses of teachers being on school boards, the Pleasanton USD 344 election had a special twist. Doniphan “DJ” Meik, a senior at Pleasanton High School, was within eight votes of being elected to a school board that oversees the work of his father, Pleasanton Elementary School Principal Nathan Meik.


Top vote-getters in that race for four school board members were incumbent Linda Conley with 254 votes followed by Jessica Myrick with 243 votes, Sam Davis with 175 votes, and Jason Sabine with 142 votes.


Meik drew 135 votes, and there were 144 write-in votes. Connor Marshall campaigned on a write-in ballot, and she received 114 of the write-ins received, but it was not enough to win a seat.


Jayhawk USD 346

Kade Cummings won a post to the Jayhawk USD 346 school board by four votes over Courtney Lanham in the race for District 2. He received 32 votes to Lanham’s 28 votes in the only challenged race for that school board.


Daniel Earnest was elected for District 1, Max Krull was elected for District 3, and Brent Paddock was elected to the at-large seat.


Prairie View USD 362

Write-in votes settled the question of who would fill two of the five seats on the Prairie View USD 362 Board of Education. No one filed for the unexpired portion of the four-year term for District 4, which covers Linn Valley and the northeast corner of the school district, and the race for District 3, which includes Parker and the area east of Parker.


However, current District 3 Board Member Brian Lueker, who did not sign up by the June 1 filing deadline ran a sucessful write-in campaign. He received 56 of the 67 write-in votes for that seat.


George Nunnemacher mounted a write-in campaign for the two years remaining on the term for the seat for District 4, and he received 79 of the 101 write-in votes.


Other Prairie View board members were unopposed and were re-elected. That included Russell Pope as the at-large member, Brad Heide from District 1, and Brian Uphoff from District 2.

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