Editor's note: This article has been changed to reflect that Republican Sheriff candidate Randy Poletis had not terminiated his campaign, but had not filed a campaign committee with the Missouri Ethics Commission. The article also includes the time of the Republican committee's selection.

A Jackson County judge Tuesday canceled one race in next Tuesday's primary election, the race for Jackson County sheriff. He ruled that the county did not have the authority to call the special election in the first place.

Instead, the county party committees will choose their nominees for November's general election, which will decide who completes the final two years of Mike Sharp's term. The Democrats will select their nominee at an Aug. 21 meeting at the Eastern Jackson County Courthouse in Independence.

The Republicans will meet at 6 p.m. Monday at the same location to pick their candidate.

Three Democrats are on the ballot: Former Kansas City Chief of Police Darryl Forte, who was appointed interim sheriff in May following the Sharp's resignation under duress the month before, Sheriff's Captain Mike Rogers and retired KCPD Sgt. Ramona Arroyo. Republican candidates on the ballot are David Bernal and Randy Poletis.

Voters go to the polls next Tuesday to decide a wide variety of races and issues. Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Party primary winners advance to the Nov. 6 general election.

Paul Wrabec, chair of the Jackson County Democratic Committee, which had sued the county hoping to gain Tuesday's ruling on the sheriff’s race, said the county only could have re-opened candidate filing if Sharp had died, withdrawn or was disqualified from an election – none of which happened.

According to the suit, the proper procedure – going by state statute and the County Charter – is for the parties to nominate a candidate for the next general election. Forte had been appointed by County Executive Frank White Jr. as interim sheriff according to charter protocol.

“We had been telling them they had no legal authority to call a special election,” said Wrabec, himself a primary candidate for the County Legislature in Tuesday's elections. “The county committee voted unanimously to proceed to circuit court. The law's pretty black and white on this.”

All names will remain on the ballot for Tuesday, but votes in the sheriff’s race will not be counted. Wrabec said each polling place should have a sign indicating that the sheriff's primary has been nullified.

Jackson County issued a statement saying Legislature Clerk Mary Jo Spino, who serves as the election authority for candidate filing, had consulted with the county counselor’s office about the procedure for electing a sheriff to complete Sharp's term.

“The county counselor’s office acknowledged a lack of clarity in the law on this point, but reviewed that law and prior precedent, and determined that the best way to proceed was to open candidate filings for a primary election. However, that determination was taken to court and the court has decided differently. The county will follow the court’s order.”


Although the primary election has now been rendered moot, candidates have been gathering campaign contributions. Here is a summary of financial records, based on reports filed this week with the Missouri Ethics Commission.

Sheriff candidates

Mike Rogers’ campaign has taken in $21,555 and spent $9,647, according to his latest report to the Missouri Ethics Commission.

Top contributors included:

• $5,000: Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 50 PAC, Lee’s Summit.

• $1,000: Mary Jan Bunyar, Golden; Michael Mauer, Oak Grove; Wilson Cass Construction, Blue Springs; Robert Knapp, Independence; Interstate Truck Center Inc., Independence.

• $600: Missouri Association of Career Fire Protection Districts, PAC

• $500: Teamsters Local Union 541 PAC, Kansas City; $500: Vicki McQuillan, Grain Valley; Russell and Sheila Meyer, Blue Springs.


David Bernal’s campaign has taken in $7,417.09 and spent $4,607.49.

Top contributors included:

• $5,000: Jose Bernal, retired, Kansas City.


Ramona Arroyo’s campaign has taken in $4,400 and spent $879.

Top contributors included:

• $500: Ellen Trakas, restaurant owner, Kansas City.


Incumbent Darryl Forte has taken in $9,235, mostly through loans from himself, and has spent $4,702.52.

Top contributors included:

• $1,000: Lisa Pelofsky, fundraiser, Kansas City.


Poletis has not registered a campaign committee with the Missouri Ethics Commission.


County executive

Democrat Matthew Merryman’s campaign has taken in $12,067 and spent $10,653.56.

Top contributors include:

• $1,000: Better Way Missouri, a criminal justice reform PAC, Kansas City.


Democrat Frank White Jr.’s campaign started the year with $67,995.72 on hand, has taken in $14,430, and has spent $30,575.22.

Top contributors this year included:

• $1,500: Local Union No. 124 Voluntary Political Fund, Kansas City.

• $1,000: Amalgamated Transit Union, Kansas City; International Association of Fire Fighters PAC, Kansas City.

• $500: Greater Kansas City American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations; United Automobile Workers Region 5 Midwest States PAC, Hazelwood; POL PAC, Jefferson City; John Wilson, Overland Park, Kansas; Matt Roney, Blue Springs; Charles Stumpf, Olathe, Kansas; Welch, Martin & Albano, LLC, Independence; Maple Land & Cattle, Bates City; James Kissick, Kansas City; Maple Realty LLC, Odessa.


Green Party Richard Tolbert has terminated his campaign, according to Missouri Ethics Commission records, and there are no 2018 records listed with the MEC for Nathan Kline.


No Republican filed to run for county executive.