With provisional ballots counted, Elizabeth Stephens takes 6th in Lawrence school board primary

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Just seven votes separated Lawrence school board candidates Elizabeth Stephens and Melissa Clissold in the race for the final spot on the general election ballot after provisional votes were counted Monday.

Stephens received 1,038 votes and will move on to the Nov. 2 general; Clissold received 1,031.


The night of the primary, Stephens, 40, a sales executive at Allen Press, said she’s a “firm believer that things always play out the way they’re supposed to.” Stephens said she was “incredibly humbled” that so many people voted and participated in the election.

“I think it really (shows) there’s a lot of folks who have some really valid concerns,” Stephens said. “Melissa (Clissold) is certainly very passionate and I think she’d do a great job. There’s a really fantastic group of people who’ve won.”

Clissold, 47, a business owner, cheer coach and former paraeducator for Lawrence Public Schools, said on primary night that she was feeling “pretty proud” where she landed having run a small, first-time campaign by herself.

“I congratulate the candidates that are guaranteed to move on,” Clissold added. “Whatever the outcome between Elizabeth (Stephens) and myself, it was a voting process. The public chose who they wanted to move on and I respect that, and I’ll go to bat for whoever in the general election if I don’t progress.”

The six candidates advancing to the general election for Lawrence school board are Kelly Jones, Kay Emerson, GR Gordon-Ross, Andrew Nussbaum, Nate Morsches and Stephens. Three will be elected.

In the race for Lawrence City Commission, in order of votes received, Lisa Larsen, Bart Littlejohn, Stuart Boley, Amber Sellers, Ma’Ko’Quah Jones and Milton Scott are vying for three seats.

More 2021 election coverage:

Tricia Masenthin/The Lawrence Times

Newcomers Kay Emerson, Andrew Nussbaum and incumbent Kelly Jones win Lawrence school board seats

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With her two sons in tow Tuesday night, Kay Emerson talked with fellow candidates and campaign workers at the Douglas County clerk’s office, discussing next steps. One thing’s for certain: She’ll wear white — a symbol of women’s suffrage — when she’s sworn in.

Lucie Krisman / The Lawrence Times

Lawrence City Commission candidates talk economic development at Chamber’s forum

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In between questions about economic issues in Lawrence, such as childcare, local purchasing policy, and the Downtown Master Plan, City Commission candidates explained what role they thought the commission should have in the business community in Wednesday’s forum, hosted by The Chamber of Lawrence. 


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