Archive for Thursday, April 7, 2005

Winners heading to City Hall

Terry Thomas, Keith Sifford win City Council seats

April 7, 2005

The campaign for two Basehor City Council seats culminated Tuesday night with a political newcomer and incumbent receiving the nod from voters.

Terry Thomas and Keith Sifford, second- and third-place finishers in the March primary, respectively, are on their way to City Hall after earning the two highest totals in Tuesday's general election. Thomas received 369 votes and Sifford 325 to secure council bids.

All voting results are unofficial until the Leavenworth County Clerk's Office finalizes the totals during a vote canvass Friday.

According to the county clerk's office, 761 of Basehor's 1,967 registered votes cast a ballot Tuesday for a 38.6 percent turnout ratio. Turnout Tuesday fared much better than the March primary, when just 165 voters, or 8.4 percent, made it to the polls.

Both Thomas and Sifford attributed their improved finishes Tuesday to efforts they undertook leading up to the election. Each candidate made door-to-door visits through area neighborhoods and advertised their candidacies.

"As people got to know me and what I want to do, I think it changed some minds," Thomas said.

"I just think my message all along was experience and common sense leadership," Sifford said. "Maybe that was the thing that kind of put us over the top. Maybe that's just what everybody wants."

He added, "I can't put my finger on any one thing that happened. I think it was just a matter of the citizens doing what they do and putting us in this position."After the March primary, Thomas found himself already in the top two. He said he was "cautiously optimistic" heading into Tuesday night. On Wednesday, he was "pleasantly surprised" with the election's outcome.

Thomas, a resident of the Falcon Lakes development, initially entered the race because he thought residents of that burgeoning neighborhood, located on Kansas Highway 7 in north Basehor, needed a presence in local government. However, Thomas, a member of a Basehor church and the Basehor PRIDE organization, said his candidacy and now his tenure on the City Council won't be about just doing what's right for Falcon Lakes.

"I'm not there to represent just Falcon Lakes," he said. "I'm there to represent all of the community."

By placing third in March, Sifford found himself outside looking in heading into the general election. Like Thomas, the incumbent said he hoped for the best, but expected the worst going into Tuesday.

"We expected to win, but you never know," Sifford said. "We always thought the race was going to be close and that's how it turned out."

Just as noteworthy as Thomas and Sifford's victories on election night were the results for two other City Council candidates -- Bob Moore and David Povilonis.

Povilonis, a council candidate in 2002, won the March primary election, but his campaign faltered in the general election. He finished with the least amount of votes, 249, of the four candidates.

He was edged out of a third-place finish by Moore, who's on-again, off-again candidacy ended with 262 votes Tuesday night.

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