Primary could be required for BPU elections, not enough candidates yet to require a primary in other offices

by Mary Rupert

Wyandotte County Election Commissioner Bruce Newby stated that based on the current candidate filings, there is a possibility of a primary being required for the Board of Public Utilities positions.

All the other city and school offices currently have fewer than the number of candidates that would necessitate a primary, Newby stated.

The primary election, if required, will be Aug. 6 and the general election will be Nov. 5. The filing deadline is at noon June 3.

There are four candidates for BPU District 3, according to the election office’s candidate list. They include Jeff Bryant, incumbent; Aaron Coleman, Dustin K. Dye and Stan S. Frownfelter. Frownfelter also is a state legislator.

There are three candidates for BPU at large, position 3. They are Norman D. Scott, incumbent; Melissa Oropeza-Vail and Faith L. Rivera.

Newby stated the primary election ballot does not have any questions, but there is a constitutional amendment question on the November general election ballot.

A Senate Concurrent Resolution has placed a constitutional amendment question on the November ballot concerning the census.

The amendment proposes eliminating the adjustment of the census taken by the U.S. Census Bureau regarding nonresident military personnel and nonresident students when reapportioning the Kansas Senate and House of Representatives, Newby stated.

Currently, the state constitution requires a census adjustment that excludes nonresident military personnel and students. A vote for the amendment will eliminate the exclusion, according to Newby. Other states do not exclude nonresident military and students.

Several candidates have filed for office in the municipal elections in 2019, according to the Wyandotte County election office list.

Candidates for city, BPU and school elections include:

Unified Government

Melissa A. Brune Bynum, incumbent, UG commissioner at large, District 1.
Steven James, UG commissioner at large, District 1.
Ann Murguia, incumbent, UG Commissioner, District 3.
Christian A. Ramirez, UG Commissioner, District 3.
Jorge Luis Flores, UG Commissioner, District 4.
Harold Johnson, incumbent, UG Commissioner, District 4.
Angela Markley, incumbent, UG Commissioner, District 6.

Register of Deeds

Tscher Manck.
Nancy Burns, incumbent.

Board of Public Utilities

Melissa Oropeza-Vail, BPU at large, position 3.
Faith L. Rivera, BPU at large, position 3.
Norman D. Scott, incumbent, BPU at large, position 3.
Robert “Bob” Milan, incumbent, BPU board member, District 1.
Aaron Coleman, BPU board member, District 3.
Dustin K. Dye, BPU board member, District 3.
Jeff Bryant, incumbent, BPU board member, District 3.
Stan S. Frownfelter, BPU board member, District 3.

Bonner Springs

Jeff W. Harrington, incumbent, mayor.
Mike Thompson, City Council, District 1.
Dani Gurley, City Council, District 2.

Kansas City Kansas Community College Board of Trustees

Donald Ash, incumbent.
Jammie A. Johnson.
Paul P.J. Jones.
Ray Daniels, incumbent.
Rosalyn Brown, incumbent.

Turner Board of Education

Daniel Soptic, incumbent.
Becky Billigmeier, incumbent.

Bonner Springs Board of Education
Jennifer McConico.

Kansas City, Kansas, Board of Education
Brenda C. Jones, incumbent.
Janey Humphries, incumbent.
Joseph A. Straws III.
Valdenia C. Winn, incumbent.
Gary E. Bradley-Lopez.

Flores runs for UG Commissioner, 4th District

Jorge Luis Flores is running for UG Commissioner, 4th District.

Jorge Luis Flores is a candidate for UG Commissioner, 4th District.

Flores, 26, said he filed for election because he “wanted to be part of the change.” A former police officer, he said he wanted to engage more in community work.

Flores said he wanted to listen to the people in the community, and then do what the people want.

He is planning to go door-to-door in the district and participate in community groups and events.

Flores is currently working in the real estate and property management field.

A graduate of Wyandotte High School, Kansas City Kansas Community College and the University of Missouri at Kansas City, where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in criminal justice and a minor in communication studies. Flores is in the master’s program in public administration at UMKC.

When he was a police officer, he said he enjoyed working with students in the community. During his time as a police officer, he received two awards for valor. He was the valedictorian of his class at the KCK Police Academy.

Flores said he supports the UG’s S.O.A.R. program, which is trying to improve Kansas City, Kansas, neighborhoods.

“That project has been needed for some time,” he said. “It gives neighborhoods a better look and helps the overall value of our city.”

Flores is on the Argentine Neighborhood Development Association board of directors and the El Centro Inc. board of directors. He is a mentor with the Jobs for America’s Graduates program and has worked to help students stay in school. He has formed the Acts of Giving organization to help children and families in need.

The primary election will be Aug. 6 and the general election will be Nov. 5. The filing deadline is at noon June 3.

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.