Elections celebrate anniversary

Deanna Bonn

The very first election held in the city of Eldorado was on September 12, 1871, for the positions of Mayor, Police Judge and five (5) Councilmen. 103 votes were polled.

There's another election coming up —  the filing deadline for this year’s City of El Dorado elections is on Tuesday, June 1st at 12 p.m. Elections are held every two years and alternate the positions being selected. The terms for City Commissioner are four  years while the Mayoral position is marked by two year terms.

Back in 1871,   Proprietor of the Eldorado House, Henry Falls was elected Mayor. Attorney William Pitt (W.P.) Campbell was elected Police Judge. Those elected as Councilmen were feed store and stable owner T.L. Calloway; furniture store owner William (Wm) Meyer; farmer and real estate developer T.G. Boswell; furniture store owner A. Mussleman; and John W. Gilmor who was a dry goods store co-owner.

The first city election in El Dorado was held on September 12, 1871.  The returns from the election were printed in the Walnut Valley Times on September 15, 1871..

El Dorado continued under this form of city government until it became the first city in Kansas to adopt the Commission-Manager form of government in 1917 and welcomed their first City Manager, Bert C. Wells on July 1, 1917.

The seats up for election/re-election during this historic 150th year are for City Commission Seat #1, City Commission Seat #3 and Mayor. Seat #1 is currently held by incumbent Commissioner Matthew Gutherie. He has filed for the same position. Guthrie was elected in 2017, and began his first term in January of 2018.

Also filing for this seat is former City Manager Herb Llewellen. Seat No. 3 is currently held by Nick Badwey. He has held this position for 3 terms for a total of 12 consecutive years, having been first elected in April 2009. Badwey has publicly stated that he wishes more citizens would take an active role in government. He has not currently filed to run for office in this election. Leon Leachman and Syndee Scribner have filed for this seat.

The Mayor’s seat is currently held by Mayor Bill Young and he is currently running unopposed. He was first elected in 2019.

Filing for office is a short process and citizens are encouraged to do so.

“Come in, fill out the paperwork and pay the $20 filing fee and you're done,” said Butler County Clerk Tatum Stafford.

The Butler County Clerk’s office is located in the historic courthouse and the hours are Monday - Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

“We are open until 5 p.m. but we ask those wishing to have paperwork processed to do so by 4:30 p.m.” Stafford said.

Questions can be directed to the Butler County Clerk’s office at (316) 322-4239.