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  • Writer's pictureRoger Sims, Journal Staff

Races set for two county commission seats, sheriff, county attorney, legislators

MOUND CITY – With the passing of the deadline for filing for county, state legislature and federal office at noon on Monday, June 3, several races took shape. Some of the more interesting races will be those for two Linn County Commission seats, the race for Linn County Attorney, and the race for U.S. House of Representatives 2nd District.

Pleasanton Republicans Vicki Leonard, Rod Earnest, and Alison Hamilton will face each other in the Aug. 6 primary for the District 2 county commission seat currently held by Danny McCullough. Leonard is a former county commissioner who is largely responsible for guiding the commission through the process of building the Justice Center. Hamilton has been a leader in the charge against solar farms in Linn County.

Incumbent Commissioner Jim Johnson has filed to retain his post as commissioner from District 3. Johnson will face fellow Republican Richard Morrell in the primary election. Both men are from the rural Mound City area.

Commission Chair Jason Hightower's District 1 seat is not on the ballot this year. He will be up for reelection in 2026.

Patrick Huntley of Pleasanton has filed to run against James Akes of Parker for Linn County Sheriff, a post currently held by Kevin Friend. Friend announced more than a year ago he did not intend to seek re-election. Akes is currently a deputy with the sheriff’s office.

In other county races, Assistant County Attorney Justin Meeks of Fort Scott has filed for the county attorney race. He will face Joseph Falls of Ottawa in the primary. Current County Attorney Burton Harding indicated last year he would not seek re-election.

Three Republicans are unopposed in three separate contests. Incumbent County Clerk David Lamb of Mound City is seeking re-election. So is incumbent Register of Deeds Kristy Schmitz of Parker. Joannie Reed of Fulton is seeking the post of county treasurer, replacing Janet Kleweno who opted not to seek re-election.

In all of the county races, the winner of the primary vote is expected to cruise to an easy victory in the November general election. No Democrat, Libertarian or unaffiliated candidates have filed for the posts.

In the race for the Kansas House of Representatives, former Linn County Commissioner Rick James of La Cygne and Joshua Jones of Fort Scott, both Republicans, are the two candidates remaining after Kaety Bowers of Fulton withdrew from the race. Both James and Jones are Republicans, and barring a write-in campaign the winner of the primary will be unopposed in November’s general election.

While almost all of Linn County is in Kansas House District 4, Liberty Township including Parker is in District 9. Garnett Republican Fred Gardner is seeking to be reelected to that post and so far has no opposition.

In the state Senate race for District 12, which includes all of Linn County, incumbent Caryn Tyson, a Parker Republican has filed for reelection. Political newcomer Stetson Kern, a Pleasanton Republican, has thrown his hat in the ring hoping to unseat her. Again, a win in the primary will all but assure the candidate to be the winner in November.

The race for the U.S. House of Representatives District 2 seat being vacated by Jake LaTurner is crowded. Five Republicans and two Democrats are hoping to make it to the November election.. 

Former state Attorney General Derek Schmidt of Independence, Jeff Kahrs of Topeka, Shawn Tiffany of Delevan, Chad Young of Lawrence, and Michael Ogle of Topeka are the five Republicans seeking the post.

Democrat Matt Kleinman of Kansas City, Kan.,will be facing former U.S. Rep. Nancy Boyda of Baldwn City for the chance to advance to the general election.

Several people have filed for township posts, and as of Friday, none of them had opponents.

They are:

• Blue Mound Township: Benda Beth, treasurer, and Polly Ann Yates, trustee.

• Centerville Township: Brenda Conner, treasurer, and Karen Whitcomb, trustee.

• Liberty Township: Barbara Hines, treasurer, and Cheri Dunlop, trustee.

• Lincoln Township: Mike Van Vlack, trustee, and no one has filed for treasurer.

• Mound City Township: Carol Wood, treasurer, and Gary Schmitz, trustee.

• Paris Township: Jean Peterson, treasurer, and Carmen Self, trustee.

• Potosi Township: Steve Ellis, treasurer, and Tel-Lea Cox, trustee.

• Valley Township: Wayne Cox, treasurer, and no one has filed for trustee.

No one had signed up for either the treasurer or trustee post in Scott, Sheridan, and Stanton townships.

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