Shawnee Heights Parent Wins City Council Election

Elizabeth Hennessey

Shawnee Heights’ very own parent Tony Emerson secured the election on Tuesday Nov.  7, re-electing him as the district four city council member. Emerson previously held the position for part of the year last year after the resignation of the current member. Emerson ran again this year with hopes of re-election.

Emerson owns his own business which helped persuade him to run.

“I have owned and operated a construction company for the past 28 years, constructing large civil projects. Many of these projects have been within the City of Topeka. In recent years, the way the city contracted and the way we constructed these projects changed and started to be inefficient. I thought I could help reform this process. That is the main reason I ran,” Emerson said.

Emerson’s signs could be seen all over Topeka. He went door-to-door campaigning and visited around 1,400 houses. He spent a total of 2,500 dollars of his own money campaigning, hoping to ensure his re-election.

Many Shawnee Heights families do not live within the Topeka city limits; however, because Emerson’s neighborhood happens to fall within the city limits he was able to run and secure the position.

Emerson’s platform consists of policies that he hopes will help the citizens of Topeka. Emerson has three main goals; one, to improve the efficiency of street rehabilitation, two, to stimulate economic development, and three, to make Topeka a “citizen’s first” city.

He wants the city to be able to afford to fix the streets and to do so at a faster rate. One of his biggest campaign platform is his economic stimulation plan.

“I know a lot of Shawnee Heights families are hurting right now. Please know that while we can’t change the larger economic trends upending retail, we are working feverishly to recruit several large firms to Topeka,” Emerson said. “On a district level, I am working with a couple of  developers to get some additional retail stores into the 29th and Croco area.”

The results of the election showed that Emerson’s campaigning payed off. He secured the position with 1,202 votes, winning over 68.3 percent of the voters.

Emerson’s initial reaction after realizing he won was to thank god and to get back to work. Emerson urges citizens to get involved in local elections.

“Many more people vote in the Presidential and Congressional elections than in the local elections and yet the laws we pass have much more impact on your daily life than many of the national laws do,” Emerson said. “Therefore, I urge you all to get involved by voting, by emailing or calling me, or by coming down to speak at council meetings. Your voice really is important to us.”