The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

April 2, 2014

Write-in candidate wins 1st Ward council seat at Baxter Springs

COLUMBUS, Kan. — A write-in candidate by the name of Carl Ikenberry on Tuesday won the 1st Ward seat on the Baxter Springs City Council, according to complete returns posted on the Cherokee County clerk’s office website.

A total of 67 write-in votes were cast, and Ikenberry’s 38-1 victory apparently ended what in recent weeks appeared to be an awkward, if not troublesome, situation for town officials.

The candidate who received the single vote was Stan Pickering, whose name was the only one on the ballot for the 1st Ward post. He has been in the county jail since he was arrested in February on charges of child sex crimes.

While Pickering, 78, had resigned his appointive post as the 1st Ward councilman and his job as a school crossing guard the same day he was arrested, uncertainty was prompted by what the county clerk said was the potential for the defendant to be elected without opposition.

In the race for the 2nd Ward council seat, a contest that was on the Baxter Springs ballot, Susan Gast received 26 votes to Staci Price’s 17 votes.

At Columbus, 2nd Ward incumbent Councilman Marion L. Morgan Jr. fended off a challenge by Leslie Flood. Morgan received 100 votes to 22 for Flood, according to the posted returns.

Another write-in candidate, Alvin Patterson, was elected to the 5th Ward seat on the Columbus council. He polled 21 votes.

At West Mineral, Kurt Johnson was the only candidate on the ballot for three City Council posts. He was elected with 16 votes. Voters then gave Romy Wilson 11 write-in votes and Phil Holcomb 10 write-in votes to fill the slate.         

 Pickering remains in jail in lieu of $300,000 bond. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for April 8.


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