• Roger Sims, Journal Staff

County, statewide candidates file for office

Voters will go the polls in August to who will advance to the general election in November. (Wix stock photo)

MOUND CITY – Two people filed to be the next representative from District 1 on the Linn County Commission. Jason Hightower and Rosemary T. Long, both Republicans, filed for the post by the deadline of noon on Wednesday, June 1.

The District 1 commission seat, currently held by Rick James, represents residents in North and South Lincoln and Scott townships, including the cities of La Cygne and Linn Valley. James announced earlier this year that he did not intend to seek re-election to the post.

The deadline to file to run for county, statewide and U.S. Senate offices was June 1. Those filing to run for the state Legislature, as well as those filing for U.S. House of Representatives, have until noon on June 10 to file because districts for those seats were not decided on until last month.

The map for the state House districts was redrawn this spring in the Legislature and received wide bi-partisan support.

So far, Kansas House 4th District incumbent Trevor Jacobs of Fort Scott, a Republican, is the only one to have filed for that office. The 4th District includes all of Linn County except Liberty Township, which includes Parker. The 4th District also now covers all of Bourbon County. Liberty Township is now included in the 9th District, which includes all of Anderson and Allen counties as well as a strip of southern Miami County east of U.S. Highway 169.

So far two candidates have filed in the 9th District race, Alana Cloutier, a Democrat and Fred Gardner, a Republican. That district has been represented by Kent Thompson, an Iola Republican, who opted not to run for re-election.

In a shift of House districts that received bipartisan support in the Legislature this spring, the 5th District changed boundaries from an area that included Liberty and Centerville townships in Linn County, most of Anderson, eastern Franklin, and a strip of western Miami counties to an area that centers around Wellsville and includes portions of Miami, Franklin, Douglas and Johnson counties.

Fifth District incumbent Rep. Mark Samsel of Wellsville, who became embroiled in controversy last year when he assaulted a student at Wellsville High School, has filed again for re-election for the new 5th District, however, he has a Republican challenger, Carrie Barth.

In statewide filings, Caryn Tyson, a Parker Republican who represents the 12th Senate District in the Legislature, which includes all of Linn County, has filed for the State Treasurer post now held by Lynn Rogers, a Democrat. However, Tyson must first defeat Steven Johnson, who is also a Republican, in the August primary.

Incumbent Governor Laura Kelly and Lt. Gov. David Toland on the Democratic ticket, will face Republican challengers Attorney General Derek Schmidt and running mate Katie Sawyer or Arlyn Briggs and running mate Lance Berland. The Kelly/Toland and Schmidt/Sawyer camps have already started waging advertising campaigns.

Incumbent Kansas Secretary of State Scott Schwab, a Republican, will be facing a challenge from both parties. If Schwab beats Republican challenger Mike Brown in the primary, he will face Democratic challenger Jeanna Repass.

With Schmidt seeking the governor’s post, the Attorney General election is wide open. Republican Kris Kobach, who held the post before Schmidt, is seeking his old job back. However, he will face criticism from his past unsubstantiated claims of widespread voter fraud in Kansas as well as a challenge from Tony Mattivi and Kellie Warren in the primary. The winner of that race will face Democrat Chris Mann in the general election.

Vicki Schmidt, a Republican who is the incumbent state Commissioner of Insurance, will face a challenge from Democrat Kiel Corkran in the general election in November.

U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran is up for re-election, and the Republican has a host of challengers this year. Joan Farr is the only Republican trying to unseat Moran. But Democratic candidates include Mike Andra, Paul Buskirk, Mark Holland, Robert Klingenberg, Michael Soetaert and Patrick Wiesner.

The controversial Congressional redistricting map, known as Ad Astra 2, added strong Republican counties to the 3rd District while putting Democratic-stronghold Lawrence in the 1st District.

After a court challenge to the so-called Ad Astra 2 Congressional district map that Senate Republicans developed that would pull Democratic voters out of the 2nd and 3rd Districts, a ruling by the Kansas Supreme Court said that gerrymandering of voting districts did not violate the state constitution.

And while the 3rd District, currently represented by Rep. Sharice Davids, a Democrat, now includes Johnson County, which can be a toss-up for either party, a small portion of Wyandotte County and strongly Republican Miami, Anderson and Allen counties. Much of Wyandotte County, which typically is strongly Democratic, is lumped into the 2nd District, which includes counties from the Oklahoma border to the Nebraska border including Linn County.

Rep. Jake LaTurner, a Republican who currently represents the 2nd District in the U.S. House, has filed for another term. So far, his only challenger is Patrick Schmidt, a Democrat.

Source: Kansas Secretary of State's office

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