by Ivan Foley
An incumbent commissioner pulled out of a Platte County race but another jumped into that spot in the closing hours for candidate filing.
When the smoke had cleared at deadline for filing at 5 p.m. Tuesday, it became evident Platte County will have four contested races in the November general election and two contested primaries in August.
In addition, both incumbent state representatives serving Platte County will have opposition.
A whirlwind of activity started late last week when The Landmark broke the story on plattecountylandmark.com that Tom Pryor was pulling out of his reelection effort for first district commissioner.
During a phone interview, Pryor said he decided to drop out to focus more on his family and business. He is a real estate appraiser.
He pulled his name off the ballot at 4:45 p.m. Thursday.
“I am putting my family and business first,”said Pryor. “There is only so much time in the day and as I step into the next phase of my campaign, I’ve found out the time is not there to do my campaign the way I like,” he added.
“My life stays pretty full,” said Pryor. “My campaign is taking more of my time and I do not have the time to do everything the best I’d like to.”
According to Wendy Flanigan, Platte County Board of Elections director, if a candidate drops out of a race their campaign funds can be donated to other campaigns, given to non-profit organizations, or given back to the donors.
Pryor said his treasurer is working on a plan to give his campaign donations back to the donors.
“At this point we’re working on a plan to give it back to the donors,” said Pryor. “I want to end up with a zero balance and close the account.”
Pryor's decision temporarily left fellow Republican Kathy Dusenbery, current Parkviklle mayor, as the only Republican in the race. But that didn't last long. Before filing deadline, another Republican jumped in. That being Jeffrey S. Jones of Parkville.
Jones' move recreates the need for an August Republican primary in the first district commission race.
A Democratic primary will also be held in August between William Quitmeier and Michelle Wilson for the first district commission seat.
In the second district county commission spot where incumbent Republican Jim Plunkett is seeking reelection, Democrats presented a candidate on the final day of filing when Charles "Chuck" Rankin, who resides near Smithville, put his name on the ballot. Plunkett and Rankin will go head-to-head in the November general election.
Another contest developed for county treasurer. Incumbent Bonnie Brown, a Democrat, will face a challenge this November from Republican Michael McCormick of Parkville.
As earlier reported, there will also be a battle for county assessor, where incumbent Lisa Pope, Republican, will be challenged by Democrat Marcena Fulton, a longtime assistant in the county clerk's office.
Unopposed in their reelection efforts will be Sheriff Dick Anderson of rural DeKalb, Republican, and Public Administrator Terry Edwards, a Democrat from Riverside.
STATE REP RACES
Incumbent Jason Brown, Republican of Platte City, serving the 30th district as state representative, will face a challenge this year from Mary Anne Baier,who has been active in Democratic politics. Baier lives in Kansas City in Platte County. She filed on Tuesday.
Jason Grill, incumbent Democrat of Parkville serving as 32nd district state representative, must also face an opponent in November. Republican Abby Olson of Parkville filed on the final day.