Barton County Commissioner Alicia (Schartz) Straub has won the Republican primary and will go on to run for a second term in November. She represents the fourth district.
Straub won 76 percent of the ballots with 649 votes, compared to 24 percent for her opponent Randy Suchy, who received 213 votes.
Other Republican incumbents on the county commission were unopposed. They are Kenny Schremmer in the first district and Jennifer Schartz in the fifth district. There were no Democrats running for these positions, so all three incumbents will be unchallenged on the November ballots.
Straub resides in Ellinwood. She is treasurer of the Kansas Legislative Policy Group (KLPG) in Topeka. She works as an apparel merchandiser for Franklin Retail Solutions in West Roxbury, Mass.
Suchy, from Great Bend, is the owner of Randy’s Properties LLC and Concrete Builders. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Barton County Historical Society.
At the Great Bend League of Women Voters Candidates Forum on July 24, Straub said she will not serve more than two terms if reelected. She added that by limiting the number of terms served to two, it would help move younger people into public service, something important in an area where the population continues to decline.
When contacted on election night, Straub expressed thanks to her constituents for a chance at a second term.
“I appreciate all the support everyone has shown me,” Straub said. “I send my heartfelt thanks to the voters of the Fourth District.”
She said she plans to continue her policy of “always researching the issue at hand and asking good questions.” There are a number of large projects to address in the coming years, including repairs to the 100-year-old Barton County Courthouse. Straub said indications are that the repairs will be less expensive than originally expected.
The county will also need to purchase new voting equipment because the equipment currently in use is no longer manufactured. Also, there may be some expensive criminal trials in the future.
“The past four years have been a lot of work, but a wonderful learning experience,” Straub said. “I will continue to work tirelessly on your behalf to make Barton County an even better place to live.”
Straub also commended Suchy on running a good, clean and fair campaign. “Running for public office is not an easy thing to do. It takes hard work, self-sacrifice and courage to put yourself out there. There is no shame in defeat.”
Both candidates had different motives for running, but Straub said they can both agree they want to make society better.