Four races, including ones for the Colcord, and Leach School Boards, and the Delaware County Commission, have developed as filing for the Feb. 13, 2018 election drew to a close.
By the afternoon of Wednesday, Dec. 6, Tiffany Duncan had filed to challenge incumbent Mike Wofford for the Colcord seat, while Carrie Warren filed to challenge incumbent Brandi Ross for the Leach school position.
For the opening on the Jay School Board, Vince Goins was the only person to file for office. He will replace Monte Rutherford, who chose not to run for an additional term in office.
At the county level, David Poindexter (R-Grove) and Steve W. Rowe (R-Grove) filed to fill the District 1 County Commission seat being vacated by Doug Smith later this month.
Smith, who currently serves as the commission chairman, plans to retire this month.
Jay School Board
A lifelong resident of Jay, Vince Goins, 35, is a field appraiser for the Delaware County Assessor's Office.
Goins has two daughters, Hadley, 12, a sixth grader at Jay, and Harper, 3.
He chose to run for office because he sees it as a way to give back to his community. He was also encouraged to run by several constituents.
"I have nothing bad to say about any current members or past," Goins said. "Nothing set me off. I just want to be involved."
Colcord School Board
Tiffany Duncan, 33, is a lifelong resident of Colcord. Both she and her husband, Gary, are graduates of the school district.
Their two children: Hayden, 15, and Abby, 11, are currently enrolled in the district.
For the past 15 years, Duncan has worked in banking. She is currently the branch manager for the Arvest location in Grove.
She said a desire to work not only for her children, but for the future generations of Colcord students caused her to run for public office.
"I want to be a voice for [my children] and for the other kids," Duncan said. "I'm excited to bring new ideas to the school board."
Duncan believes her experience in the banking industry, as well as time spent on the board of directors for the Delaware County Boys and Girls Club, and with the Quarterback Club, will help her as a school board member - especially when it comes to budgeting issues.
"I want to be a voice, and add to my skill set," Duncan said. "As long as my kids are in school, I think it will be nice to have input and make the time they have left there memorable and valuable."
Mike Wofford has served on the Colcord School Board for 13 years. He joined the board first to fill a vacant office. If re-elected in February, this will be his third full term in office.
Wofford and his wife Sharon have a beef cattle farm in Colcord. The couple have been married for 35-and-a-half years.
Wofford, 57, said he decided to run for another term in office for one simple reason - the kids.
"I love our kids and want to see them succeed," Wofford said. "Serving the community is one way to do that."
Wofford said the past 13 years on the school board have been an "enlightening experience."
"It's been a good experience, and eye opening on a lot of levels when it comes to funding and other issues," Wofford said, adding that he's enjoyed working with the school's superintendent Bud Simmons and the faculty and staff of the district.
"I think so much of them," Wofford said. "They all work hard, especially with the funding. Every year has been a challenge."
Leach School District
Brandi Ross, 39, has lived in the Leach School District for the past nine years.
Ross and her husband, Stan, have two children: Kynze, 17, and Jackson, 15, both of whom attend Oaks-Mission High School.
Ross is seeking her first full term in office. She was appointed to fill the spot left vacant by Gerome Snell's resignation.
"I love this school and want to help," Ross said, adding that her job, as the development manager for the Cherokee Heritage Center in Tahlequah, has given her an opportunity to work with budget issues, as well as applying for and managing federal grants.
She said she believes she brings a financial knowledge to the school board, which can help with a tightening state budget.
Carrie Dawn Warren
Carrie Dawn Warren, 36, has lived in the Leach/Rose area for 13 years. A native of Talala, she is a graduate of Oologha-Talala High School.
Together, Warren and her husband, Red, have two children: Jodi, 13, an eighth grader at Kansas Public Schools, and Dax, 8, a second grader at Leach.
The couple operate a cattle ranch and work with livestock sales in Leach.
She chose to run for the school board because she sees it as another way to become involved with the school district.
Warren began the school's first Parent Teacher Organization three years ago, when Dax was a kindergartener.
"As it has progressed, I felt like I could be an asset [to the district] in other ways," Warren said, adding she brings not only experience as a parent, but also as a former educator, to the table.
"I like to know what's going on where my [son] goes to school," Warren said. "As a parent, [I want] to have insight into the decisions being made, because it affects my child."
Delaware County Commission
David Poindexter, 40, is a life-long resident of the Grove area.
A 1996 graduate of Grove High School, Poindexter also attended Northeast Technology Center in Afton.
Since March 2011, he has served as deputy commissioner for District 1 and as its road foreman.
"I believe I have a unique experience level to offer the citizens of Delaware County," Poindexter said. "My experience as deputy commissioner for the past six and half years has given me keen insight into what drives the economy of Delaware County."
If elected, he plans to continue to "improve and expand" the county's economic environment, which includes tourism and manufacturing.
"This includes infrastructure, and transportation improvements," Poindexter said. "As well as possible tax incentives for future private sector growth."
Poindexter said he gained additional experience "at the kitchen table" as he discussed county issues with his father, the late Bruce Poindexter, who served as county commissioner for 12 years.
"This is a job you do, because you want to serve the community," Poindexter said. "You want to serve your neighbors and try to help things improve."
Steve W. Rowe
Steve W. Rowe (R-Grove), has lived and worked within Delaware County for 64-1/2 years. A life-long resident of Grove, he is married to Linda (Fink).
Together they have four children: Jonathan Rowe, a junior at Grove High School, Larry Rowe, Rick Rowe, Travis Fink and Tailor Mussatti.
Rowe, who is a third owner at Washboard Laundry and Shundi Storage, owns and operates TSR Wrecker Service.
His exposure to public service includes watching his father, the late Charles Rowe, serving for 16 years on the Grove City Council.
He chose to run for public office because he wanted to give residents a choice.
"I've known David [Poindexter] since he was a baby, his mother and father were friends," Rowe said. "I just think having a choice makes people better candidates and public servants."
He also believes he can do a good job, as county commissioner.
"I have no axes to grind," Rowe said. "I'm not going to promise anything I can't fulfill.
"The County Commission needs to operate the county. The list goes a lot further than grading roadways."
All seats open for the school board election are the "office no. 3" seat.
Grove - Reneé Diver and Karen Dyer have filed for the seat currently filled by Dr. Audrey Crawford.
Kansas - Jeremy Russell has filed, unchallenged, for the seat.
Kenwood - Matthew Butter has filed, unchallenged, for the seat.
Moseley - Terry Scott has filed for the seat. Lori Sherrell chose not to file for another term in office.
Oaks Mission School District - Dave Sanders, incumbent, chose to file for another term in office.
For more information, or to register to vote, persons interested may contact the Ottawa County Election Board office at 918-542-2893 or the Delaware County Election Board at 918-253-8762.