Unofficial mayoral primary results: Michelle De La Isla, Spencer Duncan move on

Michelle De La Isla wore a Wonder Woman T-shirt Tuesday evening as she learned she’d become the top vote-getter in Tuesday’s Topeka mayoral primary election, garnering 41.29 percent of the vote from among five candidates.

 

“I’m absolutely humbled and overwhelmed by the support the Topeka community has provided me,” she said.

Spencer Duncan brought in 21.19 percent of the votes to earned the second spot on the Nov. 7 general election ballot.

“I ran because I’m a Topekan who wants some change and wants to do things a little better and thinks we can get it done, and I’m very humbled that people have been receptive to that message,” he said.

Final, unofficial Shawnee County election office records showed De La Isla with 3,529 votes; Duncan with 1,832; Chris Schultz with 1,632 votes, or 18.88 percent; Clark W. Trammell with 1,323, or 15.31 percent; and Mark E. Weiser with 288, or 3.3 percent.

Results of Tuesday’s primary won’t become official until after Shawnee County Commissioners Bob Archer, Kevin Cook and Shelly Buhler meet as a board of canvassers at 9 a.m. Monday in the election office at 3420 S.W. Van Buren.

Commissioners plan to certify the vote after deciding the status of 134 ballots that were classified as provisional because election workers for various reasons questioned their legality.

Shawnee County election commissioner Andrew Howell said 8,661 voters — 12.38 percent of the 69,973 registered Topekans who were eligible to vote — cast ballots for candidates in Tuesday’s election. Howell had predicted turnout would be 12 percent.

Tuesday’s vote narrowed the field of candidates from five to two in the race for the mayoral seat held by incumbent Larry Wolgast, who is retiring after serving in that office since 2013.

De La Isla and Duncan will face off to seek a mayoral job that pays twice what it did last time the position came up for a vote in 2013. Topeka governing body members voted Dec. 13, 2016, to raise annual pay from $20,000 to $40,000 for the mayor and from $10,000 to $20,000 for city council members.

Campaign finance reports made public last week showed De La Isla and Duncan were the leading fund-raisers among the five candidates.

De La Isla said Tuesday evening she planned to work twice as hard in the general election as she did in the primary “because I take nothing for granted.”

She congratulated Duncan, said she looked forward to a professionally run general election race and appreciated the commitment Schultz, Trammell and Weiser have shown to the city.

“I look forward to working with them as we move forward,” she said.

Duncan said he planned to “continue to not speak in generalities, and give real solutions to our problems and work with citizens to make those things happen.”

Trammell said he thought Tuesday’s election results were “very eye-opening.”

He suggested young professionals played a key role in the primary election, and that it involved a very small percentage of members of the community.

“I wish the best for those who are going forward,” Trammell said. “They’re going to need a lot of help from the community and people with experience.”

Schultz said “Third place isn’t bad,” adding that he thought he ran a really good campaign.

“It wasn’t about me, it was about hearing the people,” Schultz said. adding that he came away with a much better understanding of the issues Topekans face.

“I plan to use all of that knowledge to uplift this community as best as I can,” he said.

Reporter Tim Hrenchir can be reached at (785) 295-1184 or @timhrenchir on Twitter.

PowerPlayer

Unofficial Topeka mayoral primary election results with 152 precincts out of 152 reporting:

Michelle De La Isla | 3,569

Spencer Duncan | 1,832

Chris Schultz | 1,632

Clark W. Trammell | 1,323

Mark E. Weiser | 288

 

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