by Mary Rupert
Challenger Tyrone Garner Jr. has pulled ahead of incumbent Mayor David Alvey by 60 votes in the unofficial primary results for mayor.
Garner, a former deputy police chief in Kansas City, Kansas, led 3,464 votes to Alvey’s 3,405 in the unofficial vote total Tuesday night. The top two in the primary election will advance to the general election Nov. 2.
In the mayor’s contest, Mayor Alvey more or less occupied the middle ground while being opposed from the left and the right on issues such as the proposed safe and welcoming ordinance, and UG property taxes. Garner received the endorsement of the firefighters’ union, which is currently in contract negotiations with the UG, before the primary.
Garner said on Tuesday night that he gives God the glory and he wants to thank the voters who believe in the message for change and for reimagining Wyandotte County with the message for change.
He said he would continue the fight for lower taxes, fair taxes, for BPU bills that better reflect utility bills, for investment in the disinvested areas of the community, and to bring leadership that’s community-driven to Wyandotte County.
His campaign will continue to run on the platform outlined on his website at garnerformayor.com, he said.
He added he just wanted to unify the community if he becomes the mayor. He also said he would like to take Wyandotte County from a good community to a great one that it can be, with the right leadership.
Mayor Alvey, a former educator and school administrator, said after the vote totals were announced that all he needed to do was to come in second to advance to the general election.
He now has three months to get his message out about his experience and the progress his administration has made, and how they will make progress in the future, along with a message about Garner’s inability to lead and lack of experience, he said.
The vote for mayor was split five ways, and it was in a year following 2020, when citizens expressed dissatisfaction at high levels after a lockdown.
“I think we live in a divisive time and people are trying to find candidates who align most closely with what they want, and if there had been even more candidates, you would have had even more division of a vote,” Mayor Alvey said. “I think it’s just where we are.”
Chris Steineger, a former state senator, was third in the mayor’s contest with 2,649, followed by Janice (Grant) Witt with 1,762 and Daran Duffy, 963.
There were 12,313 ballots cast with a 13.86 percent voter turnout, according to the Wyandotte County Election Office statistics. The turnout was around 1 percent lower than Election Commissioner Michael Abbott had predicted earlier.
Another incumbent who came in second in the unofficial totals was 8th District Unified Government Commissioner Jane Philbrook, with 443 votes to Andrew Davis’s 535. They will advance to the general election.
Board of Public Utilities’ incumbent Ryan Eidson, at-large Position 2, was in third place with 1,839 votes, following state Sen. David Haley, 3,925 votes, and former state senator Mark Gilstrap, 2,074 votes. Kimberly Weaver had 1,825 votes and Dennis Grindel, 1,095.
Daniel Soptic and Celisha Towers will advance to the general election for Wyandotte County Sheriff.
In the UG commissioner, 2nd District at large office, incumbent Tom Burroughs won, with Claudine Sanders also moving up to the general election.
In the UG, 1st District commissioner contest, incumbent Gayle Townsend placed first, and will face Melvin Williams in the general election.
In the UG commission, 5th District contest, incumbent Mike Kane will advance, facing opposition from Eleanor Morales Clark.
Incumbent BPU member Mary Gonzales won the BPU at-large, Position 1 position primary, and will face Gwendolyn Bass in the general election.
The results are unofficial, and vote outcomes potentially could change, particularly in close contests, after the voter canvass on Aug. 16. There could be ballots still in the mail to be counted, and also, there could be provisional ballots cast Tuesday that may be counted by the Board of Canvassers on Aug. 16.
13.86 percent voter turnout, with 12,313 ballots cast
88,825 registered voters
David Alvey, incumbent, 3,405
Daran Duffy, 963
Tyrone Garner, 3,465
Chris Steineger, 2,649
Janice (Grant) Witt, 1,762
Charles Bunnell, 1,765
Daniel Soptic, 5,815
Celisha Towers, 4,137
Unified Government Commissioner at large, District 2
Tom Burroughs, incumbent, 2,247
Claudine Sanders, 1,218
J. Michael Tiner-Mackey, 610
UG Commissioner, District 1
Gayle E. Townsend, incumbent, 707
Lisa Walker-Yeager, 274
Melvin Williams, 390
UG Commissioner, District 5
Latorua “Torrie” Chinn, 662
Eleanor Morales Clark, 697
Mike Kane, incumbent, 2,085
UG Commissioner, District 8
Andrew Davis, 535
Geoffrey Kump, 320
Tscher “Cece” Manck, 117
Jane W. Philbrook, incumbent, 443
Diana Whittington, 299
Board of Public Utilities
Member, at large Position 1
Gwendolyn Bass, 2,943
Mary Gerlt, 1,884
Mary Gonzales, incumbent, 5,567
BPU Member, at large Position 2
Ryan Eidson, incumbent, 1,839
Mark Gilstrap, 2,074
Dennis Grindel, 1,095
David Haley, 3,925
Kimberly Weaver, 1,825
To see more information about Tyrone Garner, visit http://www.wyandottedaily.com/questionnaire-tyrone-garner/.
To see more information about Mayor David Alvey, visit http://www.wyandottedaily.com/mayor-alvey-runs-for-re-election/