Voters choose 2 new Wichita City Council members on busy election night in KS

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Gradually, results from local elections across Kansas came in Tuesday night as voters decided on school board and city council members, bond issues and special ballot questions.

One Rice County community even had the chance to decide if it wanted to remain a city. In that vote, the less-than 20 residents of Frederick decided whether it'd be in their best interest to dissolve the city's incorporation.

In Wichita, voters eyed a key race for Wichita City Council and races for school board seats in the Wichita school district.

Perhaps the most closely watched race was the challenge for Wichita City Council District 1 between Brandon Johnson and Mike Kinard. Johnson won by a projected tally of 65 percent to 34 percent.


Incumbent James Clendenin in District 3 and Cindy Claycomb in District 6 were also winners for Wichita City Council races Tuesday night.

Beyond the City of Wichita, one area city council result stands out. In Clearwater, a write-in candidate separated from a pack of four candidates. The City of Hoisington also selected a write-in candidate for mayor.

On the Wichita Public Schools Board of Education, Julie Hedrick, Mike Rodee and Ron Rosales were projected as clear winners Tuesday night. The race between incumbent Betty Arnold and challenger Ben Blankley was too close to call.

Looking at other school districts, voters in Newton, Hays and Solomon overwhelmingly voted down their bond issues. With 96 precincts reporting, 56 percent Newton voters voted against the $65 million bond that would have included remodeling the 44-year-old high school, renovations to the Walton Rural Life Center.

In Hays, 60 percent of voters did not support the $78.5 bond issue that would have increased taxes on a $150,000 home by $16.43 per month over the next 30 years. The district says it will survey those who voted against the measure but says another bond will need to be presented in order to pay for much need renovations at some of the older schools.

The Solomon school district says voters in its district will likely see another bond issue on a future ballot. Tuesday night, voters voted against a 30-year, $10.98 million bond. The money would have gone to tear down an elementary school, add 11 new classrooms, make some facilities ADA compliant, update heating and air conditioning and install new lockers.

It was in Rose Hill that voters said yes to a $10 million bond issue. The bond includes additions and security enhancements at the district's schools.

Winners in all of Tuesday night's races for city council and school board seats will begin their service in January.

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Communities across Kansas will determine local representation, including votes to fill seats on school boards and city councils.

Eyewitness News is following the three Wichita City Council seats and representation on the Wichita school board. Polls opened at 6 a.m. Tuesday and closed at 7 p.m.

The Sedgwick County Election Office reports we are on track to surpass previous voter turnout numbers for this type of election - the last time we had a city council and school board election, the total turnout was around 6 percent. The election commissioner said votes were just shy of 6 percent around 3:00 today.

A lot of those votes were cast in first district polling locations - like at Grace Presbyterian Church where the race between Brandon Johnson and Mike Kinard for city council has gained a lot of attention in recent months.

Remember, you need a photo ID in order to vote so make sure you have that with you when you get to your polling location.

POLLING PLACES
You can find your polling place here
RACES
You can find who is on your ballot by entering your address on this website: Vote 411
RIDES
If you live in Saline County and need a ride to your polling station, you're in luck. Two transportation systems, OCCK and Salina City Go are offering free one-day passes.

They say the goal is to increase voter turnout. To receive the pass, simply tell the driver that you voted or will vote.

The buses will operate normal routes and schedules, which run from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.