Voters sit in polling booths at the World War I Museum.
Voters at the World War I museum in Kansas City, Missouri, cast their ballots in the 2022 primary election. (Zach Bauman/The Beacon)

On Aug. 2, the Kansas constitutional amendment was at the front of voters’ minds as they turned out in droves to the polls. Early reporting on voter turnout shows that turnout could possibly exceed 50%. The amendment failed with 59% voting no.

But as voters decided the fate of abortion in Kansas, primary elections for Johnson County Commission and Jackson County Legislature determined who will be on the ballot in the general election.

In some Jackson County districts, including the 2nd and 4th districts, the primary election chose a presumed winner for the general election. And in Wyandotte County, the primary election secured a district judge position for two candidates.

The Beacon has compiled the unofficial election results from the night for a variety of local elections in the Kansas City area, on both sides of the state line.

Election results will be unofficial until the ballots are certified by election officials in their respective jurisdictions.

Kansas City area election results: One Wyandotte County judge unseated

In Wyandotte County, sitting district judges Wes Griffin and Tony Martinez faced primary challenges from Candice Alcaraz and David Patrzykont. Alcaraz will win her election against Griffin, and Tony will win his election against Patrzykont.

Alcaraz will be the first Black female district judge in Wyandotte County.

This election marks a departure from tradition in Wyandotte County, where there is an unspoken rule that sitting judges run unopposed to keep their seats.

“No one is going to tell me when it is my time,” Alcaraz told The Beacon last week. “I do not believe in that. Because it can be your time whenever you choose it, not someone else.”

During the campaign, Martinez focused on community engagement and reducing recidivism, while Alcaraz focused on expanding community service and preventing crime before it happens.

Johnson County election results: County commission candidates

In Johnson County, voters selected the top two candidates for the Johnson County Commission chairperson and the commissioner from District 5. These primaries are nonpartisan, so all candidates appeared on the same ballot for both races. 

Mike Kelly and Charlotte O’Hara led the chairperson primary with 100% of precincts reporting and they will be the two candidates in the general election. Read The Beacon’s candidate profiles here to learn more about their platforms ahead of the Nov. 8 general election.

The Johnson County Commission is the main governing body for the county, where more than one-fifth of Kansas’ total population lives. It oversees a budget of more than $1.45 billion and serves as the public health board for the county.

Kelly, the current mayor of Roeland Park, focused his campaign on climate innovation and economic development. He wants to invest in durable infrastructure that could survive severe weather and he supports developments like the Panasonic battery manufacturing plant coming to De Soto, Kansas. He won 40.9% of the vote as of election night.

O’Hara ran on a platform of transparency and significant budget cuts. She specifically said she’d like to see the county health department return to its pre-pandemic budget, and she promised that she would not consider further emergency shutdowns, vaccine mandates or mask mandates. She won 27.7% of the vote as of election night.

In District 5, Michael Ashcraft and Stephanie Suzanne Berland will proceed to the general election on Nov. 8.

Election results for Jackson County government

With 100% of Jackson County and Kansas City, Missouri, precincts reporting, there are projected election results and primary winners for all nine Jackson County positions, including two legislators who will run unopposed in November.

Current County Executive Frank White Jr. successfully defended his seat from primary challenger Stacy Lake, and he will run against Theresa Cass Galvin in the general election. White won 53.3% of the vote in the Democratic primary and Cass Galvin won 43.7% of the vote in the Republican primary.

In the 1st District, which includes most of western Kansas City, downtown and the northeast, Manny Abarca won 58.4% of the vote in the Democratic primary and will run against Republican Christina McDonough Hunt in the general election. McDonough Hunt was the only Republican candidate in her primary.

In the 2nd and 4th districts, there were no Republican candidates, so the winner of the Democratic primary will run unopposed in the general election. The unofficial winner of the 2nd District is Venessa Huskey, with 66.2% of the vote, and the unofficial winner of the 4th District is DaRon McGee, with 77.7% of the vote.

An incumbent lost his seat in the 3rd At-Large District, where Megan Marshall is the unofficial winner in the Democratic primary. She defeated incumbent Tony Miller with 67.9% of the vote. In November, she will face Lance Dillenschneider, who was the only Republican candidate in his primary.

The other unofficial primary winners are Sean Smith in the 6th District Republican primary, Bill E. Kidd in the 1st At-Large District Republican primary, John J. Murphy in the 2nd At-Large District Republican primary and Donna Peyton in the 2nd At-Large District Democratic primary. 

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Josh Merchant is The Kansas City Beacon's local government reporter. After graduating from Seattle University, Josh attended Columbia Journalism School, earning a master’s degree in investigative journalism....