While there is only one contested race featuring local candidates on the Finney County ballot, voters will have no shortage of choices to make on Election Day Tuesday.
The lone contested local race features Democrat Pedro Rodriguez, of Garden City, a retired law enforcement official, challenging incumbent 123rd District State Rep. John Wheeler, a former longtime Finney County attorney also of Garden City. Rodriguez previously served as a city councilman in Denison, Iowa, while Wheeler has been serving two years in Topeka.
The state races at the top of the ballot, primarily the tightly contested governor’s race between Democratic State Sen. Laura Kelly of Topeka and Republican Secretary of State Kris Kobach of Lecompton, are receiving most of the attention.
Joining the frontrunners in the crowded gubernatorial race are Independents Greg Orman of Fairway and Rick Kloos of Berryton, as well as Libertarian Jeff Caldwell of Leawood. Orman’s lieutenant governor running mate is State Sen. John Doll of Garden City.
In the Kansas secretary of state race, Democrat and former Google executive Brian “Bam” McClendon of Lawrence, Libertarian Rob Hodgkinson of Stilwell and Republican Kansas House Speaker Pro Tem Scott Schwab of Olathe are vying for the office currently held by Kobach.
Other contested state races include:
• Incumbent Republican Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt of Independence seeks re-election against Democrat Sarah Swain of Lawrence.
• Incumbent Republican Jake LaTurner of Topeka is being challenged by Democrat Marci Francisco of Lawrence.
• Democrat Nathaniel McLaughlin of Kansas City and Republican Vicki Schmidt of Topeka are vying for the insurance commissioner office being vacated by Republican Ken Selzer.
Two other area state representatives — Republicans Leonard Mastroni (District 117) and Russ Jennings (District 122) — are unopposed on the local ballot.
Republican Jean Clifford, a member of the Garden City USD 457 Board of Education, is running unopposed for the District 5 seat on the Kansas State Board of Education.
Three incumbent Finney County commissioners — Republicans Lon Pishny of Garden City in District 1, William Clifford of Garden City in District 4, and Larry Jones of Holcomb in District 5 — are running unopposed.
Finney County Clerk Dori Munyan, Republican, who has been serving in that capacity since former County Clerk Anita Garcia resigned in January, is running to fill Garcia’s unexpired term.
Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday.