CLAFLIN — Republican candidate Don Cates will be the new Fourth District County Commissioner defeating Ellinwood resident and Democrat Frank Koelsch with 100 percent of the votes counted. A Claflin resident, Cates won 1,038 to 650 with 61 percent of the votes for Cates.
The Fourth District includes Ellinwood, Claflin, and the South Bend, Comanche, Lakin, Logan and Independent Townships. Kirby Krier, Claflin, who currently holds the seat, did not run for re-election.
"I want to congratulate Don Cates for running a good campaign and wish him good luck in the future," said Koelsch who is the mayor of Ellinwood.
"Thank you to those that supported my campaign and to everyone that voted," said Cates. "It’s an honor just to be considered for the job and I will do my best to deserve your trust.
"I thank Janice Schlessiger for her work as my treasurer," he said. "Most of all I thank my wife, Ginger, and our daughters for their help and encouragement.
"What an interesting experience the campaign was," Cates said. "It was great learning more about the area and meeting so many new friends in the fourth district, including Frank Koelsch. I think was can both be proud of the campaigns we ran and I look forward to opportunities to work with him in the years to come."
Cates owns The 94 Store in Claflin and is a retired airplane pilot. He will begin his new position in January.
"I indicated during the campaign I would be guided by conservative values and principles and I will do that," said Cates. "I also indicated that I would seek public input, so I ask everyone, especially those in the Fourth district to be sure to share your views with me concerning specific issues. Please stay in touch."
The tallies will not be finalized until the votes are canvassed by the commission Friday.