Don Davis may be new to political office, but he is not new to the Barton County Commission. Davis won the Republican primary for the commission’s Third District against Buck Causey Tuesday by 450 votes to 213.
“I’m pretty thrilled,” he said Tuesday night after the final results were reported. “I’m looking forward to it.”
Davis will replace John Edmonds, who is relinquishing because of his bid for the Kansas House of Representatives 112th District. Edmonds ran unopposed in Tuesday’s primary, but faces a challenge from Democrat Steve Muehleisen, who ran unopposed in his primary bid.
The Third District encompasses territory east, north and northeast of Great Bend as far north as Cheyenne Bottoms. It includes Barton Community College, Bissell’s Point and extends south to the Arkansas River.
“I’ve never done anything like this before,” the retired over-the-road trucker said. Even though this was his first election as a candidate, he has attended commission meetings weekly for some time now.
“I want to thank God and all those who supported me,” he said. “I just pray that I will do my best.”
Davis said he doesn’t have an agenda and believes the county is on the right track. He backs the proposed hike in the county mill levy, and supports law enforcement, the work of the Road and Bridge Department and economic development.
He admits he has much to learn, especially about the budgeting process. But, said he is ready and eager to dive into the job.
As a trucker, he was gone from home a lot. “I never really had the opportunity to get involved. I figured it was high time I did something.”
However, he filed for the commission seat before Edmonds had officially announced he wouldn’t run. “I didn’t really mean to start at this level,” he said. “It just fell into place.”
He ran in the Third District, “but I will serve all the people of Barton County,” he said.
Davis moved to Barton County with his parents in 1956. He married while in the Navy, and he and his wife (a Barton County native) returned to the county in 1964 after he left the service.
Causey could not be reached for comment Tuesday evening.
This is a four-year term and Davis will be sworn in when the commission reorganizes in January.