Patrick Richardson

Managing Editor

Two incumbent Columbus City Council members are out after Tuesday’s election.

Rodney Oels, head of the CCC, defeated Connie Bennett 75 to 51 for the Ward 3 seat and Hollie Young cruised past incumbent David Morrison 116 to 40 to take the Ward 2 seat.

Incumbent Jerri Burton defeated two challengers, Joyce Begando and H. Wayne Dobkins for the Ward 1 seat.

Incumbent Mayor Marie Nepple held on to her seat, defeating Henry Dale Burton 355 to 258.

Doug Mogle was running unopposed for City Treasurer. Grant Speith and Virgil Buckner were both running unopposed for city council.

In the other major contested race, the open position one on the Columbus School Board, local farmer John Crain defeated Tadd Lucian 554 to 439.

Holly Stover, Danny Langerot Jr. and Scott Thompson were all running unopposed.

Jenifer Bingham defeated Huey York for Baxter Springs mayor 395 to 326.

Bingham said she was excited to take over as mayor and appreciated the confidence of the people of Baxter Springs and looks forward to working with the city council.

“My goal as mayor is to restore the legal role of mayor,” she said. “I think we need to remember the legal role of mayor to work with the city council and guide them as a team and to let them do their jobs.”

Bingham also said she appreciated the hard work of out-going mayor Huey York.

“We appreciate the dedication and time he gave, he and his wife,” Bingham said. “You can‘t forget Judy (York) they were a team.”

Bingham will be sworn in at Tuesday night‘s city council meeting.

Also in Baxter Springs Robert St. Clair defeated Stan Pickering by 10 votes for Baxter Springs City Council 74 to 64.

In the Unified School District 508 School Board election DeAnne Binns had 528 votes, Melanie Bingham had 464, Chuck Sweeton had 460 and Brandon Williams had 457. There were four at-large positions open.

Cherokee County Clerk Crystal Gatewood said voter turnout was fairly good for a local election.

“We had 24 percent turnout,” she said. “Which is pretty good for this area for a city and school board election.”

Gatewood also addressed problems with the new computerized voter registration books. In Baxter Springs 33 people had to vote on provisional ballots because their names could not be found in the computer.

Gatewood said part of the problem was voters sometimes do not put their full names on their voter registrations. The new computer system, which scans the bar codes on the back of a driver‘s license or Kansas I.D. card, looks for full names.

Gatewood said poll workers had forgotten they could simply type in the voter‘s last name and bring up everyone with that last name in the county. Gatewood said once workers were made aware of the ability there were no more problems.

In the USD 404 School Board race James Beck defeated Amy French and Robert Meyers. For position 3 Tim Wilson defeated Audrey L. Chubb 224 to 104. For the at large position Brett Warstler won over David Chubb 251 to 75.

In Scammon, Bill Forrest was unopposed for mayor, Debra Norris was unopposed for treasurer. In city council races Darin Cassidy beat James Hodgson 10 to 6, Bobby Joe Norris Jr. defeated Nathan Hoiser 20 to 14 and Cary Duley beat Rick Lero 15 to 12.

In Wier, Saundra Stricklin beat Dwight Hale for mayor 101 to 56. Jim Lucas, Marian Miller and David Jenkins were all unopposed for city council. David Jenkins defeated Paula Dey for mayor 86 to 53.

County-wide a total of 2,665 votes were cast out of 10,965 registered voters. All results are unofficial until certified by the Cherokee County Commission in a special meeting to canvas the election Friday.