ST. JOHN — Rep. Greg Lewis, the St. John Republican who announced his resignation from the Kansas House this week due to his bout with caner, has endorsed Pratt School Board Member Donna Hoener-Queal to fill his seat and represent the 113th House District in Topeka.
According to the state statutes governing the filling of a legislative seat vacated by a resignation, once the resignation letter is received, it is forwarded to the county in the district with the highest number of registered voters, in this case Pratt County.
At that point, there is a 21-day deadline to convene a convention of the county’s precinct committee members from the party of the resigning lawmaker (Lewis is a Republican). But, the announcement of this convention must be made within 10 days.
That convention has been called, said Pratt County Republican Committee Chairman Darren Hodgkinson. It will take place at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 12, at the Pratt Community Center, 619 N. Main.
The 113th House District takes in all of Pratt and Stafford counties, and parts of Barton, Pawnee and Rice counties. Precinct committee members from all the areas included are invited to attend.
Applications are taken and the name of the applicant who receives the most votes at the convention is forwarded to the governor within 24 hours. Unless there is an objection from the governor within seven days, the appointment is final and the new person fills the balance of the term.
The clock on all this starts ticking on Friday when Lewis’ resignation is final.
Lewis announced his endorsement of Hoener-Queal on Wednesday.
“The Republicans in this district voted overwhelmingly (over 65 percent) in the last August primary in support of the ideals and values that I carried to Topeka on behalf of our district,” Lewis stated. “Donna will continue the fight for our rural interests and carry on the legacy of service to our area that I have fought for.”
Hoener-Queal is a fifth-generation Kansan raised on a farm outside of Iuka. She and her husband Don live outside of Pratt and have one daughter, Meredith.
The Unified School District 382 Board appointed Hoener-Queal to fill the unexpired term of Andrea Wilson, who resigned to be a substitute teacher for the Pratt district, in January 2016.
Lewis announced his resignation from the Legislature on Tuesday, due to his battle with brain cancer.