hat seems to be the operative word to describe the positioning and behind-the-scenes maneuvering that took place near candidate filing deadline for county offices.
Deadline to file was 5 p.m. on Tuesday, and there was plenty of activity at the Platte County Board of Elections.
The result is that every county position up for grabs will have a contested race in 2006. If competition is good for the consumer, this has to be a voter’s delight.
The late flurry started Monday when Betty J. Reavis, a Democrat who serves on her party’s central committee, filed to run against veteran county collector Donna Nash. Nash was out of the office Wednesday and unavailable for comment. Reavis says she wants to give the people a choice.
“I’m just tired of people sitting back saying I don’t like this or I don’t like that. Do something about it. I’m not saying that Donna Nash is doing anything wrong, but I think people need a choice. It’s not good for any form of government to be totally ruled by one thought process or one party,” Reavis stated Wednesday morning.
Reavis formerly owned a travel agency before retiring when her husband became ill. He has since passed away.
“I have accounting and bookwork experience. I have plenty of time and plenty of education,” she added.
Action heated up Tuesday when a Democrat candidate, Roger W. Sullins of the Farley area filed to run against three-term incumbent Betty Knight for presiding commissioner.
Sullins, 51, has worked for the Farley Special Road District for 18 years.
“I think it’s time for a change. I hope to bring a little more common sense to some of the decisions that are made, and more openness. I’ll be available basically when anyone needs me.”
Sullins said he’d like to see more “adaptability, to not have everything set in stone, to be able to see a wider picture.” He said this is his first run at political office.
After the filing by Sullins, two real surprises capped off a crazy day. Platte County Prosecutor Eric Zahnd will face a challenge, but not from the Democrats. His challenge will come from Ilse Smith, who previously hosted a fundraiser for Zahnd and later was an unsuccessful job applicant in Zahnd’s office.
Smith acknowledged she unsuccessfully sought employment with Zahnd’s office. Does that have anything to do with her candidacy?
“It enlightened me a little bit as to the way business was being conducted. I became aware of the record of prosecutions up there. Tasks were not being handled. I discovered several assistant prosecutors are running for political office and directing their time and energy there, which may make it difficult to pursue their full time job as assistant prosecutors,” Smith told The Landmark Tuesday.
Rob Willard, an assistant prosecutor, is running for state representative in southern Platte County and Myles Perry, another assistant, is running for prosecutor in Clay County.
Asked for a response, Zahnd said: “Every prosecutor in my office puts in more than 40 hours per week and will continue to do so.”
He added: “I have considered Ilse Smith to be a friend. Whatever her motive is for running, I look forward to this race. I intend to continue building on the successes of my first term.
“This election will allow me to keep spreading the word about our cyber crimes unit that is working every day to protect children from internet predators. I have also made it a priority to put career criminals behind bars for decades, even when they commit relatively minor crimes. I’m always excited to talk with anyone who will listen about my goals for law enforcement in Platte County,” Zahnd said.
The final eye-opener of the day occurred right before the 5 p.m. deadline when Rebecca Rooney, a registered nurse who is a Republican Central Committee member and past president of the Platte Republican Association, put her name on the ballot against incumbent Platte County Clerk Sandy Krohne, a Democrat who is seeking her fourth term.
“With all the recent budget fuss, I figured I could do better. I have had managerial experience and don’t like people sticking it to the taxpayers. I don’t think in that kind of office you need to ask for more from the taxpayers,” Rooney said Tuesday.
“I like Sandy Krohne personally. I’m not running against her, I’m running for county clerk,” Rooney remarked.
When the dust clears, what it will mean is that there will be primary elections in August among the Republicans for prosecutor and among the Democrats for recorder of deeds, followed by head-to-head competition between the two parties for every spot in November.
Here’s how the ballot will look:
PRESIDING COMMISSIONER Betty Knight, Republican Roger W. Sullins, Democrat
COUNTY CLERK Rebecca Rooney, Republican Sandra S. (Sandy) Krohne, Democrat
COLLECTOR OF REVENUE Donna C. Nash, Republican Betty J. Reavis, Democrat
COUNTY AUDITOR Ruby L. Maline, Republican Siobhann Kathleen Williams, Democrat.
RECORDER OF DEEDS Gloria Boyer, Republican Farra Gardner, Democrat Jennifer Wilmot, Democrat
PROSECUTING ATTORNEY Eric Zahnd, Republican Ilse Smith, Republican