Douglas County, KS 2019 Voter Guide

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If you need a ride to vote on November 5, please email contact@lawrencedsa.com

This election, there are three sections on the ballot: 

  • Lawrence City Commission
  • USD 497 School Board (Lawrence Public Schools) 
  • Special Question (statewide)

Lawrence City Commission candidates (you may vote for up to 3)

Screenshot 2019-11-04 at 5.38.06 PMScreenshot 2019-11-04 at 5.55.08 PMJoey Hentzler

Joey is running on a progressive platform including affordable housing, sustainability programs to tackle climate change, and reforms to address systemic racial disparities. He supports making utility rates as progressive as possible and public funding for sidewalk repairs. Joey is Director of Advocacy for Kansas Appleseed, which works to address social, economic and political injustice in Kansas. Joey is endorsed by DSA.

Screenshot 2019-11-04 at 5.42.59 PMCourtney Shipley

Courtney has mixed views about support for developers vs. annexation and about utility rate increases, but supports public funding of sidewalks. Courtney chairs the Lawrence Association of Neighborhoods and serves on the Board of Zoning Appeals and the Lawrence Preservation Alliance and Friends of Oak Hill Cemetery Board.

Screenshot 2019-11-04 at 5.42.59 PMKen Easthouse

Ken is part of a Public Incentives Review Committee that examines potential impacts of opportunity zones, which provide tax incentives for developers in areas such as business parks and KU. Ken supports funding of sidewalks by the city instead of by property owners, but he opposes the policy that developers must provide some kind of community benefit if they want to annex land to expand the city. 

Screenshot 2019-11-04 at 5.42.59 PMStuart Boley 

Stuart is running for reelection to City Commission, where his voting record reveals support for developers and high-end housing complexes rather than affordable housing. He believes the recent regressive utility rate increases are appropriate and wants homeowners to pay for sidewalk repairs. In addition, Stuart voted against lowering marijuana possession fines in Lawrence.  Stuart is a retired IRS auditor.  

Screenshot 2019-11-04 at 5.42.59 PMRob Sands

Rob supports annexation over developers but opposes the requirement that developers must provide a community benefit. He is an active duty member of the Kansas Army National Guard. Rob volunteers on two city boards: the Lawrence/Douglas County Municipal Planning Commission, and the Metropolitan Planning Organization. 

Screenshot 2019-11-04 at 5.42.59 PMBrad Finkeldei

Brad is a Republican. Brad Finkeldei accepted a substantial contribution from Scott Zaremba, the president of Zarco USA and the previous president of the Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association of Kansas. He states he is “considering” returning it. Brad wants homeowners to pay for sidewalk repairs and supports developers that don’t offer some kind of community benefit.  Brad has accepted campaign donations from utility company officials who stand to benefit from changes to city energy policy.

USD 497 School Board candidates (you may vote for up to four)

Screenshot 2019-11-04 at 5.58.41 PMScreenshot 2019-11-04 at 5.55.08 PMCarole Cadue-Blackwood

Carole supports funding social workers and restorative justice programs, not cops in schools. She’s running to create universal pre-K, increase funding for students and teachers, and support the paraeducators union as well as our unionized teachers. Carole is a clinical social worker, has children in USD 497, and advocates for Native communities; she was instrumental in the re-dedication of Billy Mills Middle School. Carole is endorsed by DSA. 

Screenshot 2019-11-04 at 5.55.08 PMThea PerryScreenshot 2019-11-04 at 5.50.39 PM

Thea supports funding social workers and restorative justice programs, not cops in schools. She’s running to create universal pre-K, increase funding for students and teachers, and support the paraeducators union as well as our unionized teachers. Thea is a former teacher and an activist for education, housing, and health care access. Thea is endorsed by DSA.

Screenshot 2019-11-04 at 5.55.08 PMScreenshot 2019-11-04 at 5.50.47 PM Paula Smith

Paula supports funding social workers and restorative justice programs, not cops in schools. She’s running to create universal pre-K, increase funding for students and teachers, and support the paraeducators union as well as our unionized teachers. Paula volunteers with Native American Student Services and has worked as a nonprofit advocate and in Tribal Administration. Paula is endorsed by DSA.

Screenshot 2019-11-04 at 5.42.59 PMErica Hill

Erica is the Finance and Operations Manager of the Lawrence Memorial Hospital Health Foundation. She serves on three USD 497 committees and advisory councils. Erica did not return our DSA candidate survey. 

Screenshot 2019-11-04 at 5.42.59 PMShannon Kimball

Shannon is running for a third term on the USD 437 School Board, having served as board President and Vice President. She takes pride in her contributions to the facilities upgrades and improvements in college and career readiness programs. Shannon is President of the Kansas Association of School Boards and an attorney. Shannon did not return our DSA candidate survey.

 Special Question (statewide)

Screenshot 2019-11-04 at 6.05.08 PM

The 2020 U.S. Census is upcoming, and Kansas is the only state in the U.S. that actively adjusts the federal census numbers to exclude our nonresident students and military personnel. How Kansas counts its population affects how the districts are drawn for Legislative and State Board of Education. Keeping this policy in place is estimated to cost $835,000 in 2020. The Kansas Legislature has supported this amendment with bipartisan supermajorities. Voting YES on this question would amend the state Constitution to eliminate this adjustment procedure and include everyone in the population count. 


The Lawrence Democratic Socialists of America is a nonprofit organization. We’re one chapter of a nation-wide organization, The Democratic Socialists of America, which has over 60,000 members and growing. Democratic Socialists believe that both the economy and society should be run democratically to meet human needs, not to make profits for a few. We’re a political and activist organization, not a party. Our Lawrence DSA chapter works to represent the needs of both our city’s residents and university students. We’re workers, students, long-time residents, and recent arrivals organizing in our workplaces, universities, high schools, unions, and neighborhoods to fight for the immediate needs of workers, students, and Lawrence residents while building our capacity to fight for more radical and structural changes. Join us at our next meeting!