When there’s a culture war raging in nearly every community, there are no longer any sleepy, irrelevant elections you can sit out. There never really were.
November 7 is a case in point – a local election that doesn’t attract the media frenzy of a national election, but which will set the tone for how your community is governed for some time to come.
Indeed, your local school boards, city councils, mayors and even community college trustees are making decisions on controversial matters of race and gender, sexual indoctrination in schools and public libraries, and curricula – not to mention rendering verdicts on the time-honored, life-changing choices regarding taxes, development, infrastructure and more.
It’s local units of government where officials can make the most impact on your life – and you the greatest effect on who they are and how they do their jobs.
Thus, armed with hours of online, in-person and interviewing research on candidates for local offices in their hometown, the group Northeast Johnson County Conservatives has endorsed a comprehensive slate of conservative candidates (below) whom it hopes voters will support at the polls to uphold traditional American values right here.
In 2018, then-congressman and now Speaker of the House Mike Johnson wrote out what he called the “7 Core Principles of Conservatism. He reiterated them upon taking the Speaker’s gavel, suggesting they are, instead, central American beliefs that, his original document says, “made our nation the freest, strongest, and most prosperous in human history.”
- Individual Freedom
- Limited Government
- The Rule of Law
- Peace through Strength
- Fiscal Responsibility
- Free Markets
- Human Dignity
Such principles, while abundantly represented in the Constitution, “are being torn apart,” says NEJCC advisory committee member Steve Snitz.
“We’re being bombarded by people’s feelings and whatnot, and facts don’t matter anymore, the law doesn’t matter anymore. And if we don’t get some people in what I call the ‘power elected positions’ so that we can turn this ship in a different direction, we’re just not going to be the country that all of us who love it know that it is.”
The only way it remains that country is if people who understand what makes it great get out and vote, Snitz warns.
“We need people to be determined to vote. As much as you hear about voter fraud and all that, the cure for almost everything is to get out there and vote. Don’t let anybody dissuade you from thinking that your vote isn’t worth anything. It is worth everything.”
Many of the races are, ostensibly nonpartisan – meaning candidates may not make clear their party affiliations or affinities.
That’s a canard these days, Snitz says. While a local officeholder may be nonpartisan, “they don’t behave that way. And frankly my opinion is, people are able to use [nonpartisan races] as weapons to deny or hide their true positions in order to get elected. And that’s just wrong. If I was asked if that should be changed, I’d say, in all races the candidates should have to declare their party affiliation or declare themselves as an independent if that’s what they want to do.”
The major problem facing conservative activists and voters is that local media, so closely mirroring and mimicking their national cousins, are almost universally left-leaning. So groups such as NEJCC must rely largely on email chains and word of mouth to advance their agendas and agencies.
“We don’t have a media presence,” Snitz tells The Heartlander. “And so, when the [local media] put their things out, we’re trying to compete with that at a grassroots level. And it’s a media presence like yourself and the Free State News and so on that we are trying to grow into a source, so that when people have questions or feel lost [they can] contact these media sources. … and get the word out. That’s the only way it can work.”
NEJCC’s slate of endorsements, and other grassroots efforts, can help moderate and conservative voters decide on whom to vote for in local elections for which there just isn’t a lot of information.
“It’s terrible for people to be out there and wanting to vote and not really knowing whom to vote for in their own area. I mean, that’s just sad,” Snitz says.
Snitz reminds voters that it’s perfectly legal – and in such a varied local election, perhaps wise – to take a list of their preferred candidates with them into the voting booth, rather than try to commit them all to memory.
The candidates endorsed by Northeast Johnson County Conservatives are:
Johnson County Community College board of trustees – all JoCo voters can vote for all three.
- Benee Hudson https://hudson4kansas.com/
- Ken Selzer https://kenselzerforjccc.com/
- Mike Storm https://www.stormforjccc.com/
Water One – all JoCo voters can vote for all four.
- Position 1 – Jerry Cook https://jerrylcook.com/
- Position 2 — Brian Glynn Brianglynnforwaterone.com
- Position 6 – Jim McNair – Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Position 7 – Mark Parkins – Email: email@example.com
School board elections
Blue Valley school board — all BV voters can vote for all four.
- Position 1 – Christine Vasquez https://
- Position 2 – Trisha Hamilton https://www.
- Position 3 – Rachel Faagutu https://rachelforbluevalley.
- At Large – Mike Huebner https://mikehuebner.vote/
De Soto school board
- Position 1 – Chad Philhour https://www.chadphilhour.com/
- Position 2 – Greg Withrow https://www.gregwithrow.com/
- Position 3 – Henry Sandate https://www.henrysandate.com/
- At Large – Andy Jacober https://andyjacober.com/
Gardner Edgerton school board
- Position 1 – Russell Ellis – Phone: 913-558-8293
- Position 2 – Jeff Miller – Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/
- Position 3 — Alan Vonderschmidt https://
- Position 7 At Large – Threasa Lang – Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Olathe school board
- Position 1 – Mark Wingren https://kidswinwithwingren.
- Position 2 – Jesse Gillam https://gillamforolathe.com/
- Position 4 – Holly Palacio https://www.
- Position 7 At Large – Jennifer Gilmore https://www.jennyforolathe.
Shawnee Mission School Board
- Position 1 (SM North) – Ron Occhiogrosso https://www.dro4smsdboard.com/
- Position 3 (SM South) – Mark Tallent – Phone: 913-802-2027
- Position 5 (SM Northwest) – Lynn McLarty https://www.mclartyforsmsd.
- Position 7 (At Large) – Logan Austin https://logankaustin.com/
Spring Hill school board
- Here are your Republican school board candidates
- Position 1 – Doug Hull – Email: email@example.com
- Position 1 – Shelby Helms – Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Position 2 – Jon Chitwood – Phone: 913-492-7734
- Position 7 (At Large) – Anna Baker – Email: email@example.com
City elections – city council and mayor
All voters can vote for ALL these candidates.
- Victoria McMoran http://victoriamcmoran.com/
- Joshua Turk https://www.turk4desoto.com/
- Danny Lane – Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Kevin Ritter – Email: email@example.com
All voters can vote for both.
- Ward 1: Jason Rogers – Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Ward 2: Jonalan Smith – Email: email@example.com
- Ward 3: Joseph Levin https://levinward3fairway.com/
All voters can vote for both.
- Mayor – Brady Lilja – Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/brady.
- City Council – Harry “Chip” Zimmer – Phone: 913-544-5693
- Mayor – Marc Elkins https://www.
- City Council Ward 1 – Matt Peppes https://www.
- City Council Ward 2 – Margaret Berger http://
- City Council Ward 3 – Lisa Harrison – Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mayor – Joe Karlin https://www.
- City Council Ward 1 – Bethany Griffith https://www.bethanygriffith.
- City Council Ward 2 – Mark Charlton https://www.charltonforlenexa.
- City Council Ward 3 – Dan Roh https://www.reelectdanlenexa.
- City Council Ward 4 – Michael Elliott https://www.elliottforlenexa.
- Ward 2 – Rose Gerringer http://
All voters can vote for both.
- Gregg Davidson – Email: email@example.com
- Andrew Weed – Phone 816-914-5084
- John Bacon: https://baconforolathe.com/
Olathe city council
- At Large – All voters can vote for him – Wayne Janner https://www.wayne4olathe.com/
- Ward 1 – Robyn Essex https://essexforolathe.com/
- Ward 2 – Ryan Campbell https://www.campbell4olathe.
- Ward 1 – Carol Merritt http://vote4carol.com/
- Ward 2 – Jameia Haines https://haines4op.com/meet-
- Ward 3 – Tom Carignan https://www.thomascarignan.
- Ward 4 – Gregg Riess https://riess4op.com/
These common-sense candidates oppose rezoning and runaway spending:
- Ward 1 – Terry O’Toole https://otoole4pv.com/platform
- Ward 2 – Edward Boersma – WRITE-IN – https://www.edward4pv.com/ Be sure to spell his name right – “Boersma” – and fill in the oval next to where you write his name.
- Ward 3 – Lori Sharp https://www.lsharp4pv.com/election
- Ward 4 – Tyler Agniel https://www.tylerforpv.com/
- Ward 5 – Nick Reddell https://nickreddellforkansas.com/
- Ward 6 – Kelly Wyer https://www.kellyforpv.com/
Roeland Park City Council
- Stephanie Marriott – Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mike Kemmling https://www.
Shawnee City Council
- Ward 1 – Tammy Thomas http://www.
- Ward 2 – Eric Jenkins https://www.
- Ward 3 – Kurt Knappen https://kurtknappen.com/
- Ward 4 – Megan Warner https://www.
Spring Hill City Council
All voters can vote for all four.