Three seats are up for election on the Sedgwick County Commission this year, including the 5th District, which covers the southeast portion of the county.
Commissioner Jim Howell represents that district, and wants to keep the job for a second term.
Howell, a Republican, launched his re-election campaign Monday. He is the first candidate to file for the 5th District.
He says he has accomplished some county priorities in the last four years and wants to continue working on some unfinished business.
"I view this as one of the most important positions that impact the people’s lives very directly," Howell says. "We provide about 45 different types of services to this community. Some of them are quality of life and some of them are related to public safety and infrastructure."
Howell is a former state representative who helped with the county’s legislative agenda for an election audit bill and proposed changes for mail-in ballots.
Howell says one difference he noticed between state government and county government is that the commissioners are able to take as much time as they need to move policy forward.
"We have the time to do it very thoughtfully and very carefully. I think in some cases, [lawmakers in] Topeka are constantly looking at the calendar and the clock," Howell says.
The 5th District includes the cities of Derby and Mulvane plus southeast Wichita and McConnell AFB.
The county commission’s 1st and 4th District seats are also up for election.
Commissioner Dave Unruh announced last week that he is not seeking re-election for the 1st District seat that he has held for 16 years. Former state Rep. Steve Brunk, a Republican, launched his campaign for the 1st District seat following Unruh’s announcement.
Republican Hugh Nicks is a candidate for the 4th District seat held by Commissioner Richard Ranzau.
The Primary is Aug. 7.
Follow Deborah Shaar on Twitter @deborahshaar.
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