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Voices from the west
Challenges face upcoming legislative session
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It has been two weeks since the general election and one week since the Barton County Commission canvassed the ballots from that election. One of the results of the voting was the election of commissioner John Edmonds to the Kansas House of Representatives.
Edmonds said he’s spent four years on the commission. “It has definitely given me a prospective I didn’t have,” he said during the commission meeting Monday morning.
He will now go to Topeka with a deeper knowledge of local government. And that will serve him well.
Edmonds is no stranger to elected office, having served in the House for several years prior to stepping aside to undergo cancer treatments. Being back in the state capitol with this new insight will only make him a better champion for rural Kansas.
“There are challenges here that are significant,” he said. Sadly, the population-heavy eastern part of the state dominates the Legislature and for many of these lawmakers Kansas’ western border runs along Wannamaker Avenue in Topeka.
Regardless of one’s political leanings and how they voted, it is clear Edmonds will have our backs. With financial issues plaguing the state and Gov. Sam Brownback in a constant tug-of-war with Washington, D.C., we can only hope Edmonds and the handful of representatives and senators from out west can make their voices heard in the Statehouse.
 In a related matter at the commission meeting Monday, commissioner Don Cates said this was the second time he’d been a part of the canvassing effort and he continues to be amazed at how well it functions and was honored to take part. He wishes every citizen knew what it takes to pull off an election, and all the work involved from the County Clerk’s Office staff and volunteers.
Cates and Edmonds praised County Clerk Donna Zimmerman for her work.
An election is not small feat. Democracy is not easy.
Dale Hogg