Lopez defeats O’Donnell in Sedgwick County Commission race

Published: Nov. 16, 2020 at 12:21 PM CST
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Sedgwick County will have a new commissioner to represent District 2 on the board next year. Democrat Sarah Lopez beat Republican incumbent Michael O’Donnell in the race by 264 votes, 17,041 to 16,777.

The win follows O’Donnell’s resignation last week following a finding by Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett that there was enough evidence in the case involving a false attack ad against Wichita Mayor Brandon Whipple to force O’Donnell out.

It was a tight race between O’Donnell and Lopez. On election night, Lopez was behind, but after mail-in and provisional ballots, she took the lead and won. Lopez said she felt a roller coaster of emotions and has this message for those in District 2.

“I want to make sure that everyone knows how serious I am about representing everybody in the district. I want to be held accountable. So the first thing I want to do is create a Citizens Advisory Board. Our district doesn’t have one right now and we really need one. so that’s number one. I want to get people from all different backgrounds," said Lopez.

The chairman Sedgwick County Republican Party said it will not seek a recount on the District 2 race. Now, the party must name a replacement for O’Donnell to fill the remainder of his term. New commissioners will take office on January 11, 2021.

Election Commissioner Tabetha Lehman released the official results Monday. She said the voter turnout for the 2020 general election was just over 70% with 225,771 votes counted. She said there were no ties in this election. Candidates have until Tuesday at 5 p.m. to request a recount.

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