Sedgwick County short on candidates for many upcoming elections

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SEDGWICK COUNTY, Kan. (KSNW) — Sedgwick County Elections Commissioner Tabitha Lehman says outside of Wichita’s races, many towns are waiting for any candidate to put their name on the ballot for city and school district positions.

Candidates only have 11 days until the June 1 deadline to file for this year’s election.

“I looked back at the last like-election which would be 2017, and we had a total of 210 candidates,” Tabitha explained. “Right now, we’re at 90 candidates so really low compared to the total number.”

And Lehman doesn’t think we should expect a huge surge before the June 1 deadline.

“We don’t tend to really see a big rush of candidates at the last minute,” she added. “It just kind of stays steady.”

One candidate who waited until Thursday to file was current Andale Mayor Jeremy Cawood. Cawood, now searching for a fourth term, says he’s yet to be contested in any mayoral race.

Cawood also says it’s been hard to find city council candidates for the past few years.

“A lot of people like to watch from the outside and not be associated with what’s going on the inside,” he said. “I refer to it as an armchair quarterback thing.”

KSN political analyst Dr. Jeff Jarman says many people just aren’t interested in being an elected official.

“If you’re a local business person and get put on the spot to make difficult decisions, the potential retribution for you [could be bad],” said Dr. Jarman. “And frankly, our politics have gotten a lot leaner and nasty in the last several years.”

RELATED LINK | File to become a candidate in Sedgwick County

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