Tyrone Garner
Tyrone Garner

In a tight race, Tyrone Garner was elected the first Black mayor of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kansas. Garner defeated first-term Mayor David Alvey by just 300 votes.  

Garner, 52, is a 32-year veteran of the Kansas City, Kansas Police Department, who joined the department as a cadet after graduating from Wyandotte High School.  A U.S. Army veteran, Garner also  served on the Kansas City, Kansas Community College Board and the Kansas City, Kansas Housing Authority Board.

Garner ran on a platform that focused on equitable improvements east of I-435 and reducing bills and  fees from the City-owned utility that provides water and electric service to KCK citizens. 

“The recurring theme with the people I spoke with is that they are tired of misguided and disengaged leadership, they are tired of the years of broken promises, they are tired  of an administration that does not provide for everyone equitably, … they are tired of riding the merry-go-round to absolutely nowhere,” wrote Garner on his website. 

Commission Races

Incumbent Gayle Townsend won a third-term on the Wyandotte County Commission.  In a fairly close race, she beat real estate businessman Melvin Williams by just 150 votes. 

In what most consider an upset, newcomer Andrew Davis beat two-term incumbent Jane Philbrook. 

Jane W. Philbrook.  Davis, a young, bright and energetic candidate, had a well thought out and progressive agenda that included an emphasis on youth including a plan to keep Wyandotte’s young residents in Wyandotte. 

Other Wyandotte Races

Daniel Soptic beat out Celisha Towers for the position of Wyandotte County Sheriff.  Incumbent Sheriff Don Ash  did not seek reelectin but endorse Soptic, a Lt. Colonel in the department.  This was the second run for Towers a former and disgruntled member of the department.

Frustrated by high Board of Public Utility and rates, Wyandotte residents voted out one incumbent but kept another in the two open races.  At Large District incumbent Mary Gonzales was reelected, beating out Gwendolyn Bass. In the second at large race, the incumbent was eliminated in the primary, giving the board at least one new member. 

Elected to this seat was David Haley, who also serves Wyandotte as a representative to the Kansas Senate.  Haley,  ran on a platform of reform and transparency. 

There were three seats open on the USD 500 school board and five candidates. Elected were incumbents Maxine Drew and Wanda Brownlee Paige.  Coming in third, between two other strong contenders  was Rachel Henderson a young mother of three who will bring an fresh perspective to the board. 

Evelyn Criswell and Linda Hoskins Sutton were both reelected to the Kansas City Kansas Community College Board of Diretors. 

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Bonita Gooch

Since 1996, Bonita has served as as Editor-in-Chief of The Community Voice newspaper. As the owner, she has guided the Wichita-based publication’s growth in reach across the state of Kansas and into...

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