New campaign reports show just how expensive some hotly contested races for JoCo school boards were this year

Johnson County school boards

Spending in school board races this year in Blue Valley and Shawnee Mission outpaced most typical years and reached heights some observes say they've never seen in these local contests. Totals for some candidates topped $20,000 with one candidate spending more than $50,000. Above, a sign touting three Blue Valley school board candidates. File photo.

Campaigns for the Johnson County school boards  — especially in districts in which approaches to diversity and the teaching of race became an issue — were some of the most expensive in recent history, according to recently filed campaign finance reports.

Some races in the Blue Valley and Shawnee Mission districts showed candidates raising five-figure sums more akin to campaigns for seats on the County Commission.

For instance, in the race for Blue Valley Position Six, covering the southern half of the district, winning candidate Jim McMullen’s campaign spending topped $50,900.