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Jim Plunkett will challenge
Steve Wegner


by Ivan Foley
Landmark editor

There will be at least three primary election races at the county-level in August.

The latest primary race developed on Monday of this week when Jim Plunkett, Republican of Platte City, tossed his name in the hat for District 2 Platte County commissioner. He will oppose the incumbent, fellow Republican Steve Wegner, in the Aug. 3 primary vote.

Plunkett told The Landmark this week he filed because he believes his "experience in business can be an asset to the county.”

Plunkett, who has a wife and three children, owns a construction firm.

"I've been a business owner for 20 years. I plan to be a financial watchdog of taxpayer money. I'm running because I want our government to be less about politics and more about the people it represents," he said.

"I'd like to ensure that Platte County is a county we can raise our children in. One of the issues at hand is that of the power plant (Great Plains Energy is proposing to build a coal-fired power plant about four miles outside of Weston). I feel that something of this magnitude must be thoroughly researched and people's concerns addressed. We must put the safety of our citizens before money," Plunkett remarked.

"Communication with the community is one of the things that a public servant is obligated to provide. I plan to have an open door policy," he added.

Wegner declined to comment on Plunkett's filing. Wegner was elected to his position in November of 2000 when he defeated incumbent Diza Eskridge in a tight race.

Other primary races will be needed on the Republican ballot for assessor, where Paul Gross of Weatherby Lake and Lisa Pope of Dearborn have filed, seeking to replace incumbent Christine McQuitty, who has said she won't seek reelection; and on the Democratic ticket for public administrator, where Terry Edwards of Riverside will face off against Terry Vest of Platte City, with the winner advancing to the general election to face a Republican opponent, likely to be Charlie Dickman of Kansas City. Democrat Janet Waddell, incumbent public administrator, is not seeking reelection.

In other positions, incumbent Michael Short, Kansas City, Republican, has filed for reelection for county commissioner in District 1; Dick Anderson, Republican of DeKalb, is running for reelection as sheriff; Democrat incumbent Bonnie Brown, Kansas City, has filed for reelection as treasurer; Chris Dalton, Kansas City, has filed as a Republican candidate for treasurer.

Filing deadline for county candidates is next Tuesday, March 30 at 5 p.m.


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