Legislature races shape up
Jackson County leaders get many challengers.
Several Jackson County legislators will face an election challenge in August, including longserving Fred Arbanas, who will be opposed by Terry Riley, a Kansas City Council member.
Riley, 41, waited to file until Tuesday, the final day for candidates to get into the race.
Arbanas has been on the Jackson County Legislature since its creation in 1972 — 38 years.
“Fred is the ‘poster child’ for term limits in county government,” Riley said in his news re- lease.
Riley had been talked about as a potential candidate for mayor of Kansas City, but said the demands of his family would be a better fit with serving on the Legislature.
Arbanas said Tuesday, “I have been on the Legislature a long time, and I’ve done a good job. I still have the knowledge and the energy.
“I’m going to campaign hard,” he added.
David H. Brown of Kansas City also filed late Tuesday to face Arbanas in the Democratic primary along with Riley.
County Executive Mike Sand-
ers and some other county elected officials will be opposed in the August primary.
Sanders, a Democrat, faces Jordan Smith, who says he’s seeking the county’s top post, in part, to challenge whether a convicted felon such as himself can hold public office in Jackson County.
In the Republican primary, Robert A. Stringfield, a former legislator, will face Kelly Wilkinson.
Ellsworth Tolbert has filed as a Reform Party candidate for Sanders’ post.
Only incumbents Scott Burnett and Dan Tarwater will be unopposed for seats on the Legislature.
Teresa Garza Ruiz, the incumbent, will face Ray Salva Jr. in the 1st District at large.
In the 2nd District, incumbent James Tindall will face Eugene Standifer Jr., a replay of the last election.
In the 3rd District, incumbent Dennis Waits will face Curt Dougherty, who leaves the Missouri House.
In the 5th District, Legislator Greg Grounds, a Republican, will face two opponents, Patricia Bottcher of Grain Valley and Jay Still of Independence.
In the 6th District, Syed Asif of Lake Lotawana will face Greg Walters of Raytown in the Democratic primary while incumbent Bob Spence faces Republican Joseph Spallo.
The current Legislature chairman, Henry Rizzo, also faces opposition in the 3rd District at large race — a lot of it.
Crystal Williams, a Kansas City communications consultant who formed a committee to run for Rizzo’s spot in September, filed Friday just as the doors closed.
Earlier, another woman — Diane C. Williams, who asked to be on the ballot as D. Crystal Williams — filed to face Rizzo. She has declined to comment on her candidacy.
A third woman in the race appeared Friday. Patricia Flucas filed, also as the doors closed. She declined an interview and couldn’t tell a reporter which spot on the Legisla- ture she sought.
She said she did know who she was running against: “Henry Rizzo, and what’s that other woman’s name?” To reach Michael Mansur, call 816-234-4433 or send e-mail to [email protected]star.com.