Meet the Candidates Reception Set for October 15

Joe Denoyer - October 14, 2019 4:40 am

“We are happy that another partner, the Liberal NEA (National Education Association), will be helping with our Meet the Candidate reception on Tuesday,” said Rozelle Webb, executive director of the Liberal Area Chamber of Commerce. “With five out of seven school board positions up, this is an important election for the USD 480 teachers.”

The public is invited to a “Meet the Candidates” reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 15, at the Depot, 4 Rock Island Road. The event is also being sponsored by the Liberal Area Coalition for Families, the Liberal Area Chamber of Commerce and Southwest Kansas League of Women Voters. Light refreshments will be served at the come-and-go reception.

“We thought it was important for the voters to have an opportunity to meet all the candidates who are running, even those in unopposed races,” said Webb. “While we will introduce each candidate, we hope that voters will come to meet the candidates, ask them questions, and hopefully be able to make an informed decision when they go to vote.”

One of the reasons the organizations have teamed together for this event is to improve participation in the non-partisan races that set the local leadership for the near future. “Two years ago, we only had 17.44 percent of the eligible voters actually cast their vote,” said Kay Burtzloff, president of the Coalition. “We want people to understand that voting for your local races are just as important as state and national races. The decision by local officials can have a tremendous impact on your day-to-day life.”

All of the candidates for Liberal City Commission, Kismet City Council, USD 480 Board of Education, USD 483 Board of Education and Seward County Community College Board of Trustees have been invited to participate.

Candidates for the Liberal City Commission include Ron Warren, Tony Ray Whisenant, Jimmy Dean Holman, Tony Martinez, Christopher Linenbroker, Roberto Sanchez and Cynthia Martin. Although City Commissioner Jack Carlile passed away Oct. 9, his name will still be on the ballot since it is past the Sept. 1 deadline to have names officially withdrawn. There are three positions open, two four-year terms and one two-year term.

Candidates for the USD 480 School Board for the four four-year terms include Sarah Mersdorf-Foreman, Kathy Fitzgerald, Royce Kitts, Naomi Vargas, Steve Helm, Cliff Abbott, and Mike Brack. Travis Combs has announced his resignation from the school board and plans to move from the area. His name also will still be on the ballot since it is past the Sept. 1 deadline to have names officially withdrawn. Stewart Cauble was the only one who filed for the two-year term and is running unopposed.

On the three terms open for Kismet City Council, the candidates are John Lee, Ryan Kisner, and Bryan Garrison.

On the one USD 483 at-large position, Stan Reiss was the only one who filed. Candidates for the three year-year terms are Clayton M. Louderback, Frank Friesen, and Jason Jennings

There are four candidates for the four positions open on the Seward County Community College Board of Trustees. The candidates are Sharon Hobble, John Engel, Marvin D. Chance Jr. and Kay Burtzloff.

For more information about the forum, contact Webb at 620-624-3855 or Burtzloff at 620-629-0203.


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