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Commissioner Schartz re-elected
new slt election-nite-photo
Barton County election workers tally the votes, Tuesday night at the Barton County Clerk's Office. - photo by Susan Thacker/Great Bend Tribune

Jennifer Schartz was virtually assured election for a fourth term Tuesday as Barton County Commissioner for District 5. Schartz and Great Bend Police Chief Dean Akings faced off in the Republican primary, but the winner will be unopposed in the November general election unless someone wages a write-in campaign.
Schartz showed a strong lead after advance ballots were counted, with 58.55 percent. After all precincts were counted, Schartz received 521 votes (54 percent) and Akings received 440 votes (46 percent). As with all of Tuesday’s results, they will not be official until votes are canvassed by the Barton County Commission on Monday, Aug. 11.
Facing an opponent for the first time since 2004, Schartz campaigned on her experience and asked voters to allow her to continue working to lead the community through tough economic times. As she stated in a League of Women Voters survey, “I have no agenda other than to serve my constituents in a thoughtful, deliberate way. It is my hope that I have proven myself worthy of being reelected to another four years in office.”
“It was as close a race as I figured it would be,” Schartz said after hearing the results. “Dean is well respected in our community. When he decided to run he called me, and I thought that was a very classy thing. We agreed we’d both run a clean campaign.”
Schartz spent Tuesday evening with one of her daughters, collecting yards signs. Akings and his wife were at the Barton County Courthouse, waiting for results.
Akings ran on his experience as an administrator. He has been a civil servant in Great Bend for over 37 years, including 31 years as Chief of Police. When he announced he was running for county commission, he said he would retire at the end of this year, win or lose.
“I feel so much relief,” Schatz said upon learning she had won the election. She said she values her job as county commissioner very highly and was glad that the voters have allowed her to continue.