Meet Your Local Politicians


Photo taken by Brionna Dickson

Bailey Flanagan and Vin Parazin

This election season, the presidential race between Republican incumbent Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden was widely talked about, with record voter turnout amongst both parties. However, many other races occurred this season, ranging from US Senate to the County Commissioner. With the exception of the United States Senate race (which was open after Senator Pat Roberts announced his retirement) and the Johnson County Commissioner Race, all incumbents kept their positions. All elected politicians begin their second term in January of 2021. Here are all of your elected candidates!


Shirley Allenbrand, a lifelong resident of Johnson County, defeated incumbent Mike Brown by just over 2,000 votes for Johnson County Commissioner. Allenbrand established Allenbrand and Associates Design LLC, a company that designs senior living communities. In addition to that, Allenbrand also is a member of the Advancement Board for the University of Kansas Medical Center, a board that helps public support for the hospital. On her website, Allenbrand is backed by three former superintendents of the Olathe School District, as well as a former Kansas State Senator. 


Republican Roger Marshall handily defeated democratic opponent Barbara Bollier on Election Day for US Senate, winning by over 150,000 votes. Marshall, raised in rural Butler County, is a certified physician who opened a hospital in Great Bend. He currently is serving a term as a US Representative for Western and Northern Kansas that will expire in 2021. He was endorsed by former US Senator Bob Dole. He will replace Senator Pat Roberts in January. 


Republican incumbent John Toplikar defeated Democratic opponent Cole Fine for the Kansas House of Representatives in District 15 by just under 400 votes. This will be Toplikar’s second term as a representative. Prior to, he served as a Johnson County Commissioner in the Olathe area (District 6), and was a state representative for District 15 from 1993-2003. He is a board member of the Public Health of Johnson County, as well as Mental Health in Johnson County. 


Incumbent Sharice Davids won her bid for reelection in the US House of Representatives representing the third congressional district of Kansas. Davids beat republican challenger Amanda Adkins by around 38,000 votes. When she was first elected in 2018, Davids made history as one of the first two Native American women to serve in Congress, as well as being the first LGBTQ+ Native American woman elected to Congress. Davids was born in Frankfurt to a single mother serving in the military, and eventually Davids moved to Kansas where she attended and graduated from Leavenworth High School. Before serving in Congress, Davids worked as an attorney, mixed martial arts fighter, and notably served as a Fellow for the Department of Transportation in the White House under the Obama Administration. According to her website, Davids’s focus is on bringing “opportunities to the middle class” by limiting special interest group influence and ensuring access to affordable healthcare.


Incumbent Robert Olson beat democratic challenger Wendy Budetti to win his bid for reelection in the Kansas State Senate representing the 23rd district. Olson won by around 2,500 votes and has maintained this seat since 2011. According to the Kansas Legislature website, during this time Olson has helped sponsor and pen several bills including the controversial bill SB 401 which sought to ban gay couples from adopting. According to his campaign, Olson’s focus is on “conservative family values”, staunch anti-abortion ideals, and mental health awareness.


Incumbent Steve Howe won his reelection for Johnson County District Attorney. Howe faced Zach Thomas, his first challenger since first taking office in 2009. Before being elected in 2008, Howe had served as a prosecutor for 18 years. Howe was officially endorsed by several law enforcement chiefs and officers in Johnson county as well as Lenexa mayor Mike Boehm and Overland Park mayor Carl Gerlach. According to his campaign, Howe is focused on “providing an effective and efficient office”.