Commissioner Murguia running for re-election in 3rd District

Commissioner Ann Brandau Murguia

Commissioner Ann Brandau Murguia has filed for re-election for the 3rd District Commissioner position for the Unified Government of KCK-Wyandotte County. She was last re-elected in 2015.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to represent the people of the 3rd District,” Commissioner Brandau Murguia said in a news release. “I appreciate all the tremendous help and support my constituents have given me over the years. I value the importance of this position to our community, and if re-elected, look forward to working hard to continue our good work and successes.”

Commissioner Murguia was able to secure over 250 3rd District registered voter’s signatures in support of her re-election. She said that a group of 20 campaign volunteers went door to door to get the signatures. Besides the signatures she has been receiving campaign contributions as well.

“I am humbled by the support of the voters in the 3rd District who signed my re-election filing petition. I am very grateful for their help and campaign contributions,” Murguia said.

Commissioner Murguia said her re-election campaign is focused on continuing the surge of economic development that has taken place over her term in office, the emphasis of strong code enforcement on commercial and residential property owners, and the importance of supporting the need for adequate and efficient public safety services — fire and police departments.

She said she is proud of the economic development success and neighborhood revitalization the 3rd District has experienced since she has been in office. Commissioner Murguia mentioned the Rainbow Boulevard corridor in Rosedale with hundreds of millions of dollars in redevelopment, including retail, commercial, residential and partnership with the University of Kansas Hospital and the University of Kansas Medical Center.

“In the 3rd District we have added hundreds of jobs and provided residents with improved retail opportunities and services,” she said. “The Rainbow Boulevard retail-commercial improvements, the Save A Lot grocery and the Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market, have been welcomed successes for our district and were long overdue. Thanks to the collaborative efforts of the Unified Government, local businesses and community involvement, we hope to continue to bring in even more businesses and commercial opportunities.”

Commissioner Murguia highlighted the street and curb improvements that have taken place in the 3rd District. She said again a combination of the Unified Government, local businesses and community involvement were the main reasons for the success of that program. She said that the community appreciates the repairing of the streets and that it has revived neighborhood pride in the community.

“People tend to take better care of their property when they see this kind of investment and improvement to their neighborhoods,” she said. “What also helps is strict and strong code enforcement on those who neglect and create public safety hazards on their property to the detriment of the responsible and hard-working residents who are taking care of their homes and businesses.”

Public safety is also one of Commissioner Murguia’s main priorities. She said that the 3rd District residents have indicated that is one of their most important requests from the Unified Government.

“Timely and efficient police and fire protection are always mentioned at all the neighborhood meetings I attend. I am committed to ensuring the availability and the effectiveness of public safety services to the 3rd District,” she said.

She said she is very grateful and proud of the new public safety facility next to the Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market in Argentine that is providing space for the police South Patrol division.

Commissioner Murguia said she is committed to providing quick and timely constituent service. She said it is important for the 3rd District residents to know they have a voice in their local government.

“I first ran so that our community could have a voice in how our Unified Government governed and provided services. I pledge to continue to work hard and try my best for everyone in the 3rd District,” she said.

Commissioner Murguia is the former executive director of the Argentine Neighborhood Development Association. She was also previously employed as the chief operations officer at Community Housing of Wyandotte County. She has a Bachelor of Science degree from Ottawa University and a Master of Business Administration from Baker University.

She is presently a member of the Kansas Board of Regents. She is a former recipient of the Humanitarian of the Year award from the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce for her work with the Latino-Hispanic community. Commissioner Murguia is a graduate of the Leadership Kansas Program and also served on the Wyandotte County Parks Foundation Board, co-chairs the Frontiers Project at KU Medical Center, former member of the Argentine Activities Association and is a member of Our Lady of Unity-St. John the Evangelist church. She also attends, and supports, the local neighborhood associations.

Commissioner Murguia has been a resident of the Argentine neighborhood in Kansas City, Kansas, since 1997. She has three children, Wyatt, Thomas and Isabella.

Six file for office in fall elections

Six candidates have filed for office so far in the fall elections, according to Wyandotte County Election Commissioner Bruce Newby.

Those who have filed include Angela Markley, Unified Government commissioner, 6th District, incumbent; Harold Johnson, UG commissioner, 4th District, incumbent; Jorge Luis Flores, UG commissioner, 4th District; Norman Scott, Board of Public Utilities at large, position 3, incumbent; Paul P. J. Jones, Kansas City Kansas Community College Board of Trustees; and Gary E. Bradley-Lopez, Kansas City, Kansas, Public Schools board.

The primary election will be Aug. 6, and the general election, Nov. 5.

The filing deadline is noon Monday, June 3.

College student runs for KCK school board

Gary Enrique Bradley-Lopez has announced that he is a candidate for the Kansas City, Kansas, Board of Education. (Staff photo)

by Mary Rupert

Gary Enrique Bradley-Lopez, a college student, has announced his candidacy for the Kansas City, Kansas, Board of Education.

“I’d like to change the atmosphere and look the Board of Education has,” Bradley-Lopez said. “As a young person, I’d have a different voice and view.”

Bradley-Lopez, 20, was a student in the school district just two-and-a-half years ago, graduating in 2016 from Wyandotte High School. He received an associate degree in theater from Kansas City Kansas Community College in 2018 and currently attends the University of Missouri at Kansas City.

Bradley-Lopez also was a debate and forensics coach for the school district from 2016 to 2017, when he received a stipend from the district.

He is currently chairman of the Wyandotte County Young Democrats and second vice president of the Kansas Young Democrats. He added he would resign the Young Democrats chairmanship when he files for office.

Bradley-Lopez also was the student senate president at KCKCC, where he helped on the presidential search committee.

He recently discussed several issues that are prompting him to run. He said he would place the interest of students first, and he wants to avoid the drama of the school board during the past year.

“I want to end the school-to-prison pipeline,” he said. He is in favor of ending out-of-school suspensions, he added.

In addition, he favors a conversation about how to hire more persons from Kansas City, Kansas. He said there is a need to hire more minority teachers.

Bradley-Lopez also favors mandatory equity and inclusion diversity training in the district.

He is in favor of restoring the district’s student board, and allowing a representative of the student board to have a voice at the district’s board meetings. He added he would serve as an advocate for students.

In the past there has been some micromanagement on the part of the school board, according to Bradley-Lopez.

He said he agreed with what the board was trying to do, but disagreed with its way of doing it.

“We can agree on the same issue, more teachers of color, but disagree about how to go about it,” he said.

Directly requesting more information from human resources is not the way to do it, he said. Instead the board needs to have conversations with the superintendent to address the issues, he said.

There also is a need for students in the district to be prepared for college, he said.

If elected, Bradley-Lopez believes he would be the youngest board member and first elected Hispanic board member of the school board. He added he hoped that his candidacy would lead more young adults and more minorities to vote.

Local elections are next August and November.