Longtime Ellis mayor faces challenge from councilman



ELLIS -- Two candidates have filed for mayor of the city of Ellis in Tuesday's election.

Incumbent David R. McDaniel and city councilman Lyle Johnston are running for the position. The candidate with the most votes will be sworn in April 15.

McDaniel has been mayor for 16 years and served one term on the city council before that. McDaniel said it isn't unusual for the race to be contested.

He's running for another term because "people told me I do a good job, and they asked me to run again," he said.

The city is facing the issues of water, improving and maintaining streets, and building the community.

The council has a handle on the water issue, elevating the city's water conservation policy to its highest, Stage 3, McDaniel said.

"I'm fortunate to have been mayor during a growth spurt," he said.

New businesses have been added near the Interstate 70 interchange as well as new residential properties on the south side of town, growing the population to more than 2,000.

McDaniel, owner of Trio Home Center, has been in business for 42 years.

Johnston has been on the Ellis City Council for three years.

He's running for mayor because he believes "Ellis should have a fresh outlook, (and) things could run differently."

Johnston would like to see the city's website updated to provide better information and resources for feedback and ideas.

"Streets and infrastructure have been a priority for years," Johnston said.

As mayor he would work on getting a street improvement plan mapped out.

"It's a benefit being this close to Hays, but it hurts, too," he said.

It's hard for local businesses to compete with chains.

Johnston grew up on a farm near Ellis before moving away while in high school. He moved back in 1998.

He is a farmer and is married to Angela. He has a stepdaughter, Josephine, 4.