When area voters go to the polls for the April 2 city and school elections, they’ll be deciding primarily city leadership posts.
There are no races for board posts in a number of school districts in the region — Joplin, Webb City, Carthage and Neosho — so there will be no elections in those districts. In the four districts, incumbent board members are the only candidates running, and state law allows school districts to forgo board elections if candidates on the ballot equal the same number of posts to be filled.
That’s not the case, however, for city races, where elections will be held even if there is no contest on the ballot.
The exception applies to all nonpartisan elections, except those for municipalities, noted Liz Abram-Oldham, a spokeswoman with the office of Jason Kander, Missouri secretary of state.
There also is no election in Joplin, which holds City Council votes in even-numbered years.
Joplin School Board members who will be returned to office without a vote are Michael D. Landis and Dawn Sticklen, and on the Webb City School Board, incumbents remaining on the board are Dan McGrew and Kevin Crane.
Only one council race is to be decided in Webb City, where incumbent Brandon Wilson is being challenged by Mike Kirby for the 4th Ward council post.
Remaining council members, all incumbents, are running unopposed. They are Doug Goodall, in the 1st Ward; Gina Monson, 2nd Ward; and Alan Hughes, 3rd Ward.
In Carthage, there will be races for council seats for two wards. In the 1st Ward, candidates are Jim Swatsenbarg, the incumbent, and Trevor C. Smith, and in the 3rd Ward, incumbent Steve Leibbrand is being challenged by Mike Hutton. Other incumbents, running unopposed, are Lawrence Chapin, 2nd Ward; Dan Rife, 4th Ward; and Ed Hardesty, 5th Ward.
There is no contest for the Carthage School Board, where incumbents Mark Westhoff and Justin Baucom are standing for re-election.