Mayoral candidate Witt says she supports efficiency, fairness in government

Janice Witt

Janice (Grant) Witt is a candidate for Unified Government mayor and CEO.

Witt ran previously for mayor in 2017. She said if elected, she would represent the people and small businesses in Kansas City, Kansas.

Witt was the first person to file for mayor this year.

She is known for operating a food pantry and assistance center, the Reola Grant Center for Family Life Development, in Wyandotte County for many years.

“For too long we have been told that taxes and our BPU bills must be raised to support inefficient government,” Witt said. “This attitude by the current administration has destroyed opportunities, health, and hope for families. Our community needs new independent leadership free of the back room influences of Doug Bach and David Alvey. Change is happening all over America and we need change in the Dotte as well. No more sweet deals on the backs of the taxpayers.”

Witt stated she is for efficiency and fairness for taxpayers and existing UG employees. Her priorities include police and fire safety, and respect and fairness for everyone.

“We will focus on the residents and small businesses that have been loyal to WyCo and stuck with our community,” she stated.

Witt has degrees in human resources, hospitality and service management, and has owned and operated her and her husband’s business for more than 20 years. They also formerly owned a catering business and two coffee shops.

She is a past president of the Wyandotte County Civitan Club.

Five candidates run for mayor

Five candidates are running for Unified Government mayor, and some UG Commission races also have drawn opposition.

After the candidate filing deadline passed at noon today in Wyandotte County, many incumbents have opposition.

The five candidates running for UG mayor include incumbent Mayor David Alvey, Daran Duffy, Tyrone Garner, Janice (Grant) Witt and Chris Steineger, according to the election commissioner’s candidate list.

Wyandotte County Sheriff Don Ash’s name did not appear on the list of candidates today. Three candidates, Charles Bunnell, Daniel Soptic and Celisha Towers, are running for sheriff.

Also not on the candidate list was Edwardsville Mayor John “Tiny” McTaggart.

UG Commission contests drawing interest included UG Commissioner at large, District 2, where Tom Burroughs is the incumbent. Others filing for the office included Ned Kelley, Claudine Sanders and J. Michael Tiner-Mackey.

In District 8, UG Commission, Jane W. Philbrook, incumbent, is running for re-election in a five-way contest. Also running in District 8 are Andrew Davis, Geoffrey Kump, Tscher “Cece” Manck and Diana Whittington.

In District 1, UG Commission, Gayle E. Townsend, incumbent, faces challengers Lisa Walker-Yeager and Melvin Williams.

In the 7th District, UG Commission, incumbent James F. Walters is opposed by Chuck Stites, a member of the Edwardsville City Council.

UG Commissioner Mike Kane, 5th District, had opposition from LaTorua Chinn and Eleanor Morales Clark.

The primary election will be Aug. 3, and the general election is scheduled Nov. 2.

Candidates who have filed include:

Mayor-CEO of Unified Government: David Alvey, incumbent; Daran Duffy, Tyrone Garner, Janice (Grant) Witt and Chris Steineger.

Unified Government Commission at large, District 2: Tom Burroughs, incumbent; Ned Nelley; Claudine Sanders; and J. Michael Tiner-Mackey.

Unified Government Commission, District 1: Gayle E. Townsend, incumbent; Lisa Walker-Yeager; and Melvin Williams.

Unified Government Commission, District 5: Mike Kane, incumbent; Latorua “Torrie” Chinn; and Eleanor Morales Clark.

Unified Government Commission, District 7: James F. Walters, incumbent; Chuck Stites.

Unified Government Commission, District 8: Jane W. Philbrook, incumbent; Andrew Davis; Geoffrey Kump; Tscher “Cece” Manck; and Diana Whittington.

Wyandotte County Sheriff: Charles Bunnell; Daniel Soptic; and Celisha Towers.

Board of Public Utilities, District 2: Thomas W. Groneman, incumbent; and Brian Matlock.

Board of Public Utilities, at-large Position 1: Mary Gonzales, incumbent; Mary Gerlt; and Gwendolyn Bass.

Board of Public Utilities, at-large Position 2: Ryan Eidson, incumbent; Dennis Grindel; Kimberly Weaver; Mark Gilstrap; and David Haley.

Kansas City Kansas Community College Board of Trustees: Evelyn Criswell, incumbent; Linda Hoskins Sutton, incumbent; and Brad Isnard.

USD 202, Turner Public Schools board: Joy D. Beery, incumbent; Jeff Davidson, incumbent; and Steve Russell, incumbent.

USD 203, Piper Public Schools board: John Bakarich III, incumbent; Desiree L. Fergus, incumbent; Rebecca Miller Davis; Tiffany Scheffler; Theresa Fisette; and Julian A. Wells.

USD 204, Bonner Springs-Edwardsville Public Schools board: Kimberly Beets, incumbent; William Barajas Jr., Matthew L. Birzer; Tiffany Sanders; and Jeff Tinberg.

USD 500, Kansas City, Kansas, Public Schools Board of Education: Maxine Drew, incumbent; Wanda Brownlee Paige, incumbent; Rachel Henderson; Angelynn Howell; and Diosselyn Tot.

Bonner City Council, Ward 1: Cassandra Long.
Bonner City Council, Ward 2: Tom Stephens, incumbent.
Bonner City Council, Ward 3: Rodger Shannon, incumbent.
Bonner City Council, Ward 4: Christine Wood, incumbent.

Mayor of Edwardsville: Carolyn Caiharr.

Edwardsville City Council: Margaret Shriver, incumbent; Mark R. Bishop; and Sandy Millsap Moulin.

Fairfax Drainage District board: Martin L. Quinn; James Bundy Jenkins; David R. Morales; and Douglas E. Todd.

The election list and more information are online at

Sporting’s Kinda to play for Israeli men’s national team June 5 and 9

Sporting Kansas City midfielder Gadi Kinda has joined the Israel Men’s National Team for two friendly matches during the FIFA international window in June.

Kinda and Israel will travel to face Montenegro this Saturday, June 5, at Podgorica City Stadium in Podgorica before visiting European powerhouse Portugal on June 9 at Estadio Jose Alvalade in Lisbon. Both matches will kick off at 1:45 p.m.

Kinda, 27, has earned his first selection to Israel’s senior team since fall of 2019 when he was named to the squad for UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying.

The attacking midfielder has yet to make his senior debut, having represented Israel at the U-18, U-19 and U-21 youth levels. Kinda previously featured in qualifying matches for the 2013 UEFA European Under-19 Championship as well as the 2015 and 2017 editions of the UEFA Under-21 Championship.

Led by head coach Willibald Ruttensteiner, Israel is 85th in the latest FIFA rankings and will use the upcoming friendly matches as tune-ups for the start of 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying in September.

After facing Montenegro, the Israelis will serve as an exhibition opponent for a star-studded, fifth-ranked Portugal side preparing for the UEFA European Championship later this month.

Born in Ethiopia and raised in Israel, Kinda has reclaimed a national team spot thanks to strong displays as an integral member of Sporting.

The playmaker has recorded three goals and one assist in eight appearances this season for a Sporting side that occupies second place in the Western Conference and boasts a three-game winning streak.

He opened his 2021 scoring account in a 2-1 victory at the New York Red Bulls on April 17 and tallied game-winning goals in exciting home triumphs over Austin FC on May 9 and Houston Dynamo FC on May 29.

An impressive debut season in MLS saw Kinda receive Sporting KC Newcomer of the Year honors last November.

He placed sixth among MLS newcomers in 2020 with 10 combined goals and assists while also creating 26 scoring chances, second-most on the team behind Johnny Russell. He started 16 of 18 regular season appearances and was particularly effective in the early and latter stages of the campaign.

Kinda was the only MLS player to receive Team of the Week honors in Week 1 and 2 and later notched two goals and two assists in his final three regular season matches.

Prior to joining Sporting in early 2020, Kinda logged over 200 professional appearances in Israel. He spent the first seven and a half years of his career at FC Ashdod before moving to Beitar Jerusalem in 2019.

  • Story from Sporting KC