Perhaps the youngest city commission candidate in the history of Parsons has filed for the election.
Brady Magner, a 2018 Parsons High School graduate, joined the city race along with business owner Leland Crooks and Jeffrey Stammer on Wednesday. Braden Lett, a future business owner and an Army Reserve officer, filed as a candidate Thursday.
Going into Memorial Day, no candidates had filed for the city race, but now there are six people vying for the three open positions that will be decided in the Nov. 5 election. The terms of Commissioners Kevin Cruse, Peter Cook and Bill Hogelin, who is serving as mayor this year, will expire in January. The deadline to file is noon Monday.
Cruse filed for re-election on Tuesday, joining Verlyn Bolinger Jr., who became the first official candidate earlier that day. Hogelin said he would only run if there weren’t enough candidates. Cook ruled out a re-election bid before resigning his position effective June 1 to take a job out of town.
Magner said he became interested in national and world politics a few years ago and then more recently started following local politics. Despite his young age, Magner decided to give running for local office a try, partly encouraged by the low number of candidates as of the end of the day Tuesday.
“I just really wanted to get involved and hopefully become a leader for other young people getting into local politics because I think that is the most important,” Magner said.
Magner is works in electrical computer-aided drafting at Power Flame.
Crooks, who owns Grand Rental Station and Speaker Hardware, said he decided to run partly because of the small number of candidates. He said it’s been a long time since a business owner has been on the commission because most think it’s not a good idea to be involved in politics while running a business, but he decided it was time to get involved and help out.
“I’ve lived here my entire life and never been involved in city politics, so maybe it is time to give back a little,” Crooks said.
Lett said he thought it was sad that no one had filed for the election as of Memorial Day, so he decided to run. Lett works in environmental services at Labette Health and is a recent graduate of Pittsburg State University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He went through the Army Reserve Officer Training Corps at Pittsburg State and was recently commissioned as a lieutenant in the Army Reserve. He also plans to open a new retail business soon.
Lett said it is time his generation gets more involved in the community.
“The preceding generations have given much to the community for many years, and now I think it’s time for us millennials to get started,” Lett said.
Lett said local businesses are doing great, there is a strong sense of community here and residents seem happy, and he would like to help continue those trends.
Stammer was unavailable for comment on Thursday.
In addition to the Parsons City Commission race, there are seats up for grabs on all local school boards and city councils as well as the Labette Community College Board of Trustees, which gained a candidate Thursday as incumbent Montie Taylor filed. Taylor joined incumbent David Winchell and newcomer Laurie Lewis on the ballot. Incumbent Mike Howerter has not filed yet.
All four Parsons USD 503 Board of Education incumbents with terms that will expire in 2020 have filed for the election. David Ray filed on Wednesday, joining incumbents Michael Kastle, Louis “Lou” Martino and Joan Thompson.
For the Oswego USD 504 Board of Education race, incumbent Steven Charles filed on Wednesday, joining incumbents Tina Dinnsen and Nikki Lewis.
Michael Baima filed on Wednesday for the Mound Valley City Council race, and incumbents Jennifer Palmer and Alex Ybarra filed on Thursday. Steve Cleaveland, Jay Etter and Linda Killman had already filed as candidates to fill one of three open seats. Eli Herrington has yet to file for re-election.
Tammy Bushong joined what is becoming a crowded race for Chetopa mayor. She filed on Thursday and will face opposition from Charles Archer, Gary Bryant and Robert Kirkwood. Mayor Terry Robison has not filed for re-election.
For the Labette City Council race, James and Karen Smith filed as candidates Thursday, joining fellow incumbent Cruz Smith. All five council seats are up for grabs. Incumbents Shannon Evans and Doris Haney haven’t filed yet.