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Examiner
  • Five legislators unchallenged in fall

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  • Two state representatives whose districts include parts of Independence will face challenges in the Aug. 5 Democratic primary.
    State Rep. Brandon Ellington, a Kansas City Democrat in his first full term from a district, the 22nd, that includes much of western Independence, is being challenged by Daniel R. Edwards of Kansas City. In the 28th District, which includes a sliver of southwest Independence south of U.S. 40, Tom McDonald is running for a fourth term and is being challenged by Ryan Meyer of Kansas City. No Republicans are running in either district.
    Filing for state offices closed Tuesday, and that in effect left several area legislators re-elected, facing neither a challenge in their own party primary in August nor an opponent from another party in November. Those include:
    • State Sen. Will Kraus, a Lee’s Summit Republican whose district also includes Blue Springs and Grain Valley. He wins a second four-year term.
    • State Rep. Ira Anders, a Democrat whose district covers much of Independence, from west of the Square east almost to Susquehanna and south almost to Centerpoint Medical Center. He wins a third two-year term.
    • State Rep. Sheila Solon, a Republican whose district includes most of Blue Springs south of Interstate 70. She wins a third term.
    • Rep. Mike Cierpiot, a Lee’s Summit Republican whose district includes five precincts in south Independence. He wins a third term.
    • State Rep. John Rizzo, a Kansas City Democrat whose district includes parts of Sugar Creek and northwest Independence. He wins a third term.
    Other incumbents face no primary challenger but will have opponents in the fall:
    • Three Democrats are running for the right to face Rep. Noel Torpey, an Independence Republican seeking a third term in the 29th District, which covers central Independence and runs south into the eastern edge of Kansas City. Those Democrats, all from Independence, are John Sutton, two ran against Torpey two years ago; Winston Apple and Addison Newberry. Torpey got 53.7 percent of the vote, running against Sutton, in 2012.
    • Former state Rep. Brent Lasater of Independence is running against fellow Republican Bill E. Kidd in the August primary, and the winner takes on incumbent Democrat John Mayfield in the 20th District, which runs from Sugar Creek to northeast Independence to Buckner. Mayfield narrowly defeated Lasater – by fewer than 200 votes out of 15,000 cast – in 2012.
    • Republican Jeanie Lauer, whose 32nd district includes Blue Springs north of I-70 and runs east to Oak Grove, is being challenged by Democrat Andy Herman of Blue Springs.
    • Republican Donna Pfautsch of Harrisonville is running for a second term in the 33rd District, which runs from Cass County into the eastern edge of Jackson County, with Lake Lotawana and parts of southeast Blue Springs, Grain Valley and Oak Grove. Two Democrats – C.J. Hicks of Pleasant Hill and Syed Asif of Lake Lotawana – face each other in the August primary. Asif also ran in a Democratic primary for the Missouri House in 2012 and ran for the Jackson County Legislature in 2010. Also, Libertarian Matt Stephens is running.
    Page 2 of 2 - • Glen Kolkmeyer, R-Odessa, is seeking a second term in the 53rd District, challenged by Democrat Henry Grubb of Odessa. The district is mostly in Johnson and Lafayette counties but also includes the Levasy area of northeast Jackson County.
    Tuesday also was the close of filing for Congress, and both of Eastern Jackson County’s two congressmen face challenges within their parties and from other parties.
    U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver of Kansas City, seeking a fifth two-year term, has four Democratic challengers in August: Bob Gough of Lee’s Summit, Mark S. Memoly of Lee’s Summit, Eric Holmes of Kansas City and Charles Lindsey of Kansas City. Republican Jacob Turk of Lee’s Summit is again running against Cleaver, as are fellow Republicans Bill Lindsey of Lee’s Summit and Berton A. Knox of North Kansas City as well as Samuel Alao and Michael Burris, both of whom listed Kansas City post office boxes as their addresses. Libertarian Roy Welborn also is running.
    Rep. Sam Graves is seeking an eighth term in the 6th District spanning almost all of northern Missouri and a portion of Jackson County with eastern Independence, western Blue Springs and the Lakewood area. He has three challengers in the Republican primary: Kyle Reid of Louisiana, Mo., Brian L. Tharp of Rock Port, Mo., and Christopher Ryan of Liberty. Three Democrats are running: Gary Lynn Crose of Gladstone, Edward Fields of Kansas City and Bill Hedge of St. Joseph. Libertarian Russ Monchil of Cameron, Mo., also is running.
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