Wyandotte County has a few new faces serving in high-profile elected officials and most incumbents are returning as a result of Tuesday’s election.
Wyandotte County Commission
Five seats were up this election cycle and only two of the races had incumbents in them. Both incumbents were victorious. At Large Commissioner Melissa Bynum, who has served on the commission since 2015, defeated businessman Ricky Smith.
District 3 Commissioner Christian Ramirez drew a lot of opposition. He slayed his way through a large field of competitors in the primary, but only narrowly defeated his opposition in Tuesday’s general election. With just 52% of the vote he was able to secure a victory over Tina Medina.
There wasn’t an incumbent in the remaining three commission races. Not choosing to run for reelection were: District 2 Commissioner Brian McKiernan, who had served on the commission since 2011, District 6 Commissioner Angela Markley, who had served since 2011, and District 4 Commissioner Harold Johnson, Jr., who had served since 2015.
In the District 2 race, Bill Burns, a retired court administrator defeated small business owner and community organizer Anna Cole. In the District 6 race, Philip Lopez, who owns a tree trimming company, defeated Steve Neal, pastor of First Baptist Church of Turner.
In one of the most contested races in the county, EVelyn Hill defeated Tarence Maddox for the right to represent District 4. Hill, who owns a consulting business, isn’t necessarily a new face. She served on the USD 500 school board from 2014-1. Maddox, served on the Wyandotte Commission from 2011-15.
During his term on the commission, he was censored for ethics violations that included saying he would sic county inspectors on a gas station owner and for a disruptive incident at Legoland in KCMO. In October, he pleaded guilty to two counts of disorderly conduct, for a 2022 incident that occurred in Topeka,KS.
He was scheduled to be sentenced in October, but at this attorney’s request, the sentencing was postponed until December.As part of the plea deal, the prosecutors have recommended Maddox be sentenced to a year of supervised probation and a fine of $100 per count.
SCORE WYCO Commission: 2 incumbents won and 3 new faces. DEI, Plus 1 Hispanic commissioner.
Board of Public Utilities
Newly elected to the Board of Public Utilities is Stevie Wakes, Sr. who is filling the District One seat vacated by Bob Milan, Sr. after more than 30 years of service. Wakes, who is senior pastor at Olivet Institutional Baptist Church in Kansas City, KS, also works as an administrative support specialist in District Attorney Mark Dupree’s office.
Incumbents Rose Mulvany Henry handily defeated community activists CeCe Hardin, but third district incumbent Jeffrey Bryant, who had served on the board since 2011, was defeated by Brett Parker, a former member of the Kansas legislature who moved to Kansas City, KS in 2022. Parker campaigned on keeping the utility’s rates low and not charging the smallest users at the highest rates.
SCORE BPU: 1 incumbent won, 1 incumbent lost, and 1 new face
USD 500 Board
There was a crowded field of 11 candidates vying for four seats on the USD 500 school board and all four incumbents were competing to hold on to their position. In all but one case, the incumbents won.
Returning to the Board are Randy Lopez, Valdenia Winn and Yolanda S. Clark. Defeated and coming off the board is Janey Marie Humphries, the only White member of the board. The sole new member of the board will be Robert Milan, Jr.
That name may sound familiar. We mentioned his father earlier. He is stepping down after serving 30 plus years on the BPU board. Milan, Jr is senior pastor of Greater Faith Baptist Church.
SCORE USD 500: 3 incumbents won, 1 incumbent lost, and 1 new face. DEI, Plus 1 Black male and Minus 1 White female.
USD 500 has a 77% minority enrollment (49% Hispanic. 28% African American and 12% White. The board makeup is now six African Americans and one Hispanic
KCKCC Board of Trustees
The seven-member Kansas City Community College Board of Trustees will have three new faces. Don Ash, the only incumbent seeking reelection, held his seat. Three incumbents: Ray Daniels, Pat Brune and Rosalyn Brown, did not seek reelection.
There were 11 candidates vying for the four open seats. Joining the board are: Mark Gilstrap, Mary Ann Mosley and Brenda Scruggs Andrieu.
SCORE KCKCC Board of Trustees: 1 incumbent won and 3 new faces.
Register of Deeds
Long time Wyandotte County Register or the Deeds Nancy Burns decided to retire, opening up her position. Ready to step in was Susie Werner Nelson, who has served as Deputy Register of the Deeds for 12 years. Nelson was able to win her boss’ old job, defeating her opponent, Madella Hnderson, with 64% of the votes.