Candidate’s withdrawal won’t affect primary
Law requires city still conduct March election
Next month's primary election wasn't necessary to eliminate one Basehor City Council candidate from the campaign.
Although his name will appear on the ballot, Basehor resident James Washington announced this week that he's withdrawn from the election.
Washington, a Basehor resident of two years, is an Army contractor with Northrop Technical Services at Fort Leavenworth military base; the company provides support services to the Army's battle command training program. He also operates a management consulting firm.
Increased travel obligations stemming from his work make it impossible for Washington to "dedicate the time to run or serve if elected," he said. Earlier this week, Washington said he was informed that he would be away from home for most of the next six months.
Leavenworth County Clerk Linda Scheer said Washington's withdrawl would have no bearing on a City Council primary election scheduled for March 1.
"Kansas statutes say the filing deadline is January 25 and the deadline to withdraw is the same day. Based on that statute, I don't know there's anything else I can do but hold a primary," Scheer said.
There are now four candidates -- incumbent Keith Sifford, and residents David Povilonis, Terry Thomas and Bob Moore -- bidding for two City Council seats. The race is the only campaign in which Basehor voters will cast a ballot during the March primary.
Because Washington's name will still appear on the ballot, it's possible he could move past the primary election and even win one of the two seats in the April general election. If that possibility becomes reality, Scheer said Washington could resign his seat and the City Council would have to appoint a replacement.
However, Washington said he has no interest in winning a seat. He said he would appear for a "Meet the Candidates" forum Tuesday, Feb. 22 to speak with voters that are disappointed as he is with the current state of city government affairs and will urge them to cast their ballots for Thomas.
"I will ask voters who share my concern about the future of Basehor to vote for Terry Thomas," said Washington in a letter to a Sentinel reporter. "I feel that Terry is an outstanding candidate who agrees that change is necessary for Basehor to prosper."
Washington said he and his family moved to Basehor because they were excited about growth potential of the surrounding areas and the planned developments in the city.
"We thought that, after the explosive growth of western Wyandotte County and the strong expansion of Shawnee, this would be the next hot area," Washington said.
But, Washington said he's questioned his optimism for the city's future recently because of the City Council's actions. His decision to run as a council candidate was based on that concern for the future, he added.
"We feel that city government needs a complete change to correct the errors of the past couple of years," he wrote. "This change is necessary if the city is to become a significant part of the economic development that surrounds us.
Many incidents in the past year have shown the management of city government to be ineffective.
"What Basehor needs now is civic leaders with talent and experience to turn this city in the right direction. We don't need a continuation of city government burdened with the conflicts of interest which have held us back."