Lots of positions will be on the line during primary

By Angie Baldelomar

The primary elections on Tuesday will decide races for national, state, county and township positions. Here is a rundown of the candidates on the primary ballots for both parties.

For the U.S. Senate, the Republican race features Sen. Jerry Moran of Manhattan and relative unknown, D.J. Smith, of Osawatomie. The Democratic race will face Monique Singh of Kansas City and Patrick Wiesner of Lawrence.

For the U.S. House of Representatives, the Republican race is between the current member, Tim Huelskamp of Fowler and Dr. Roger Marshall of Great Bend. No one filed on the Democrat side.

In the 40th District for state Senate, running unopposed in the Democratic side is Alex Herman of Hays, and on the Republican side is state Rep. Rick Billinger, of Goodland.

For the 120th district in the state House of Representatives, Republican voters will choose between former Rep. John Faber of Brewster, and Adam Smith, a Wallace County commissioner of Weskan. Running unopposed on the Democratic ballot is Bonita Peterson of Ludell.

Judge Preston Pratt of Norton is running unopposed for district judge in the 17th Judicial District in the Republican primary. Likewise, Judge Jay Tate of Oberlin is unopposed for district magistrate judge for Decatur County.

On the county level, running for commissioner for District 2 in the Republican primary are the incumbent, Sid Metcalf, and Karen Larson, a former Oberlin city administrator. Brad Marcuson is running unopposed in the Republican primary for District 3 commissioner. He expects to face an independent candidate in the General Election, Economic Development Director Shayla Williby.

For county clerk, Nora Urban, now the deputy county clerk, and Brandi Diederich, an office manager and Decatur Community High graduate, are running in the Republican primary.

Running unopposed for re-election in the Republican primary are Register of Deeds Kari Ketterl, County Treasurer Jean Hale and County Attorney Steve Hirsch.

For sheriff, the veteran incumbent, Ken Badsky, faces Bret Marietta, a former deputy, in the Republican primary.

For township offices, candidates filing as Republicans include:

  • Steve Brown for Bassettville township trustee, unopposed. No one is running for township treasurer on the Republican side.
  • Jacob Weyeneth for Beaver Township treasurer.
  • David Juenemann for Cook Township trustee; Crescentia Rall for township treasurer.
  • Merlin Anderson for Custer trustee.
  • Linda Schroer for Dresden treasurer.
  • Jim Wesch for Finley trustee.
  • Curt Mizell for Garfield treasurer.
  • Denton S. Haag for Grant trustee.
  • Joe Metcalf for Harlan trustee; Galen Lafferty for treasurer.
  • Dennis Ritter and Eric Fleckenstein for Jennings trustee, and DuWayne Metz and Craig Ritter for treasurer.
  • Gerry Tally for Liberty treasurer.
  • David Stapp for Lincoln trustee; Robbie Henningson for treasurer.
  • Millard Kyte for Logan trustee; Evan Unger for treasurer.
  • Tyler Witt for Olive trustee; Denise Abbey for treasurer.
  • Sandy Rush for Roosevelt trustee; Terry Rush treasurer.
  • Paul Shields for Sappa trustee; Rodney Bryan for treasurer. • Larry Roe for Sherman treasurer.
  • Paul Tally for Summit treasurer.

The township candidates filing as Democrat include:

  • Terry Lippelmann for Bassettville township treasurer. No one is running for township trustee in the Democratic race.
  • Gene Morford is for Oberlin township treasurer.
  • John Gallantine is for Garfield trustee.

Allison, Altory, Center, Lyon, Pleasant Valley and Prairie Dog townships have no candidates running for township positions. Many positions could be filled by write-in candidates.

The only townships with candidates for party committee members are:

  • Custer, with Kelly Jeanne Wasson running as a Republican for precinct committeewoman.
  • Finley, with James Wesch and Pamela Wesch, both Republicans, running for committeeman and committeewoman.
  • Garfield, with Robert Strevey running as a Democrat for precinct committeeman.
  • Lincoln, with James Plotts and Carolyn Plotts, both Republicans, running for committeeman and committeewoman.
  • Logan, with Ralph Unger and Norma Unger, both Republicans, running for committeeman and committeewoman.
  • Olive, with Denise Abbey running as a Republican for committeewoman.

For Oberlin City Precinct 1, Othelia Vacura is running as a Democrat for precinct committeewoman. Stephen and Marilyn Horn, Republicans, are running for precinct committeeman and precinct committeewoman.

For Oberlin City Precinct 2, Henry Kent Euhus is running as a Republican for precinct committeeman.

The ballot will also have a question about whether to raise the mill levy for the county hospital. The question will be:

“Shall the Board of Commissioners of Decatur County, Kansas be authorized to levy up to 13 mills for the purpose of operating, maintaining, equipping and improving the county hospital?”

The polls will open at 7 a.m. on Tuesday and close at 7 p.m.


The story was published on the front page of The Oberlin Herald‘s print edition on July 27, 2016.

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