ELLINWOOD — Barton County Commissioner for the fourth district, Ellinwood resident and retired businessman Ken Lebbin, has begun a write-in campaign to retain his seat on the county commission.
“I’ve always been interested and engaged in working for municipal government,” said Lebbin. “I’m interested in continuing the service. I know I have a lot to offer in municipal experience and life experience across the board. I have business experience, industrial experience and municipal experience, and I’ve always risen to positions of leadership.
“This isn’t about politics. It’s about proven responsible leadership,” said Lebbin. “I am aggressive and not afraid to make hard decisions and ask tough questions. I need and ask for votes.”
Lebbin was appointed to the commission in May at a Republican convention, following the death of Don Cates, former commissioner. At the primary election in August, Lebbin lost to Ellinwood resident Alicia Straub by 21 votes.
The Republican primary election is closed and only Republicans can vote in it. “23 percent of registered Republican voters (in the fourth district) voted and it came as close as 21 votes,” said Lebbin. “11.5 percent (of people in the district) selected who would move on.”
This will allow Republicans, Democrats and Independents to voice their opinion at the ballot box, he said. “All a person has to do is check the write-in box and write in my name.
“Ever after losing, I’ve continued to be proactive and will continue to do the job to the best of my ability,” on the commission, said Lebbin. “This is the commitment I made by taking the appointment. I am committed to the job and this is why I want to continue in that position.”
Lebbin was an air traffic controller in Vietnam and then was appointed as control tower chief. After that, he worked for Iowa Beef after returning to school. He was asked to join their management team.
“I went into business with a franchise in Omaha where we took care of bookwork, accounting and analysis,” Lebbin said. “I then moved back to Ellinwood and purchased Lebbin Oil and Propane business until 1990 when a decision was made to close that business. I went to work at Bushton Natural Gas, ending up working at Oneoak as a lead operator.” He then retired two years ago.
In his spare time, Lebbin built an experimental aircraft, which he flies. He enjoys working on vintage cars and is helping his brother-in-law with repair work. He was a volunteer firefighter for 22 years. He volunteers to drive the public transportation bus and was on the city council of Ellinwood for 21 years.
Lebbin is married to his wife Debbie, and has one son, and two step-sons.
“I was approached by friends, acquaintances and family to run,” he said.