Rep. Bob Bethell said he is running for reelection to the position of Representative of District 113, and that the Great Bend Tribune made a “gross misstatement” on Sunday when it reported otherwise.
The story and the headline, “Bethell, Wolf won’t seek reelection,” were wrong. On Monday, Bethell sent the reporter of that story (and this one), who was responsible for the error, an e-mail that makes the error clear. “I have filed for the position of Representative of District 113 and intend to run for that position.”
Bethell, an Alden Republican, and the other three panelists at Saturday’s legislative coffee in Great Bend all discussed the redistricting of the House and Senate. At least one of them also mentioned redistricting of the Congressional districts.
“I mentioned that the 113th District was having Barton County removed and would be picking up Ellsworth County and part of Saline,” Bethell wrote. With that in mind, Bethell called Saturday’s coffee his “swan song,” indicating he won’t be back next year.
In closing remarks, Rep. Bill Wolf, R-Great Bend, did say he won’t seek reelection. “There is a time to run for political office and there is a time to leave,” he said, adding that for health reasons he will not be running and his term will end Jan. 13, 2013.
Bethell said he was puzzled as to how the reporter from the Tribune left with the impression that he was not seeking reelection. “I have had several people that were in attendance contact me with dismay relating that that was not the impression they had of what was said,” he wrote in the e-mail. “The tenor of the meeting was that I would not be coming back to Barton County. I mentioned how much I had enjoyed the opportunity to represent the residents of Barton County, and that while most of the attendees at the forum could not vote for me that was not a problem for me if they needed assistance please feel free to call me.” His complete letter runs as a Public Forum on page 4 of today’s newspaper.
Bethell spoke to the Tribune on Monday, accepting an apology and discussing redistricting. The House has passed its map and it is in the Senate, which must also approve it. “The Senate hasn’t finished their map,” he said. “Unless the Senate changes the House map, it’s pretty firm.”