Danedri Thompson
[email protected]

The next election is just around the corner, and candidates are trickling into the Johnson County Election Office to get their names on the ballot.

Gardner, Edgerton and Spring Hill cities and school boards will elect several members come April, but candidates must file by Jan. 25.

By the close of business on Dec. 20, several school board incumbents had made their intentions to run for re-election known by filing. In Spring Hill, Nels Anderson, current school board president, has filed his papers. In the Gardner Edgerton School District, incumbents Mark Grannell, Mary Herbert, Tim Rayburn and James Repshire will be listed on the ballot in the hopes of retaining their positions on the school board.

Brian Newby, Johnson County Election Commissioner, said whether any of the cities or school boards has a primary election will depend on the number of candidates. The law was changed a few years ago so it requires more candidates to spark a primary election.

Because Gardner, Edgerton and Spring Hill cities will elect three at-large council members, at least 10 candidates must file for election to force a primary election.

For the school board, there must be at least three candidates vying for one position to spark a primary.

Filing for offices costs candidates. It costs $5 to file for school board candidacy and council positions in Edgerton and in Spring Hill. In Gardner, the cost to file for council is $10.

Candidates can avoid the filing fee by filing by petition. That requires that candidates gather 50 signatures from the residents they hope to represent.

“Sometimes people do that to demonstrate they have supporters,” Johnson County Election Commissioners Brian Newby, said. “That’s a way to avoid the fee, and some people do both to show they have support.”

Newby said so far election officials haven’t seen much interest from potential candidates in Gardner, Edgerton and Spring Hill. He said the office has fielded several calls about running for school board in the Shawnee Mission School District – probably due to that board’s recent decision to close a number of schools in the district.

Controversy breeds candidates, he said.

Typically, candidates file before the end of December or right at the filing deadline. There are two schools of thought about when to file, Newby said.

“One is file early so people know you’ve filed so people won’t want to be your opponent,” he said. “And then there are some people who file right at the deadline – maybe they want to see who is filing.”

In addition to city and school board seats, voters will also select three countywide, at-large representatives for the Johnson County Community College Board of Trustees. To date, only one candidate, Richard L. Schroder of Lenexa, has filed to serve on that board.

If needed, primary elections will be on March 11, 2011. The general election will be April 5, 2011.

SPRING 2011 Election Deadlines

January 25
Filing and Withdrawal Deadline (12 noon)
Deadline for questions to be placed
on the Primary ballot

February 9
Advance voting by mail begins – 20 days prior to Election Day

February 14
Registration books close – last day to register

February 22
Advance voting in person begins at Election Office

February 28
Advance voting in person closes (12 noon)

March 1
SPRING PRIMARY ELECTION

March 7
Primary Canvass
Deadline for questions to be placed
on the General Election ballot

March 16
Advance voting by mail begins – 20 days prior to Election Day

March 21
Registration books close – last day to register

March 29
Advance voting in person begins at Election Office

April 4
Advance voting in person closes (12 noon)

April 5
SPRING GENERAL ELECTION