Owner of tree trimming business tops pastor in Wyandotte County UG election by 5 votes

The owner of a tree trimming business beat out a pastor by five votes in the race for a seat to represent south-central Kansas City, Kansas, on Wyandotte County’s governing body.

Philip Lopez got 831 votes in the race for District 6 on the Board of Commissioners for the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas, narrowly defeating Steve Neal, who received 826 votes, according to final results Wednesday. The seat is currently held by Angela Markley, who did not seek reelection, and covers the Turner, Morris and Muncie neighborhoods.

The race was the closet in the Nov. 7 election and narrowed to six votes as mail-in ballots were counted late last week.

The Board of Canvassers, which decides whether or not to accept provisional ballots, met Wednesday to approve the Wyandotte County Election Office’s recommendations to count 176 provisional ballots and to not count 69, meaning nearly 72% of provisional ballots cast were counted. Provisional ballots are used if there is any doubt about a voter’s eligibility at the polling place.

Gathered with other canvassers Wednesday at the Election Office in KCK, Unified Government Commissioner Tom Burroughs, At-Large District 2, encouraged his fellow canvassers to be “ambassadors” in the community to combat election misinformation after they heard how the Election Office worked to verify voter eligibility and make sure legitimate votes were counted.

A total of 13,998 registered voters cast ballots in last week’s election, putting voter turnout at 15.5% across Wyandotte County.

The Star could not immediately reach Lopez, the incoming commissioner, by phone. During the campaign, he called for reducing the mill levy and curbing tax incentives for large corporations.