Two contested races for Basehor-Linwood board

John Richmeier
The Leavenworth Times

There are two contested races this year for the Basehor-Linwood school board.

The Leavenworth Times sent questions to candidates in the contested races. This is the first in a series of articles that will profile candidates in local contested races.

Most of the positions on the school board represent specific geographic sections of the Basehor-Linwood district.

Position 4 represents a northern part of the school district.

Jennifer Sims is the only candidate whose name will appear on ballots for this position. But Nate Stroup is running for the position as a write-in candidate.

Richard Bazemore and Brian Habjan are facing each other in the race for Position 6, which represents a southern portion of the school district.

The names of two people will appear on ballots for the race for Position 5. But this is no longer a contested race because former candidate Kody Willnauer is no longer seeking the office. His name will still appear on the ballot along with the only remaining candidate, Timothy Hill.

Early voting has started. Election Day is Nov. 2.

Position 4

Jennifer Sims

Jennifer Sims

Age: 46

Occupation: Assistant librarian and K-5 youth services programmer at Basehor Community Library

Political experience: Vice president of Basehor-Linwood Middle School Site Council and Basehor-Linwood District Site Council member

Nate Stroup

Nate Stroup

Age: 37

Occupation: District marketing manager

Political experience: Zero

Position 6

Richard Bazemore

Richard Bazemore

Age: 37

Occupation: Accounting

Political experience: None

Brian Habjan

Brian Habjan

Age: 46

Occupation: Banker, farmer, full-time father of three kids in USD 458

Political experience: Leavenworth County Extension Board of Directors, Basehor-Linwood Education Foundation board, Leavenworth County Development Corporation board, past chairman of the Board of Directors for Leavenworth-Lansing Area Chamber of Commerce.

Why are you running for the Basehor-Linwood Board of Education?

Sims: As a parent of four children in our Basehor-Linwood schools and a previous elementary teacher, I feel like I have a better understanding of what I can do to help our community.

Stroup: I want to be part of helping the community I love and support. I want Basehor-Linwood students to be successful and career-prepared for life after high school.

Bazemore: I am running for the Board of Education because no one cares more about the education and learning environment for my children than I do and I want to be a representative for parents on the board.

Habjan: I want to serve to provide a parent point of view on the school board and be a voice for parents to express their points of view. I can provide a business person’s view for managing people and the financial side of the district.

What are the most important issues facing the school board?

Sims: With the rapid growth of the Basehor community, I want to help make sure we are allocating funds appropriately and listening to the needs of our Basehor-Linwood families.

Stroup: Leadership. We need smart, objective members that listen to all sides and not just follow suit because it’s “woke.”

Bazemore: The most important issues facing the Basehor-Linwood board right now are transparency, fiscal responsibility and acting as representatives for the parents in our district.

Habjan: Managing the district growth and expanding the current class offerings and pathways would allow our district to support teacher, parent and student needs. I will use my banking experience to help the district be as fiscally responsible as possible, while still meeting the needs of a growing school district.