Daniels, Symes claim commission seats

Iolans OK sales tax extension
The Iola Register

While it was a mixed bag for Republicans elsewhere on Election Night, the GOP easily offered up winners in a pair of Allen County Commission races.

Incumbent Jerry Daniels, representing District 1, cruised to victory over challenger Mike Bruner, a Democrat, by 30 percentage points, 953 to 511. The First District covers much of the southern and eastern portions of the county, including Humboldt, Moran, Elsmore and Savonburg.

“I’m very excited and appreciative of the support of the voters,” Daniels told the Register this morning. “I want to see us continue making progress in the county.”

Meanwhile, Republican candidate Bruce Symes easily won the District 3 seat, amassing 62 percent of the vote in what became a three-way race. Symes pulled in 831 votes versus Democrat Steven Henderson’s 307 (23 percent). Another 207 votes, or 17 percent of those cast, were for write-in candidates. Presumably, many of those were for John Brocker, who was appointed to the seat in March. Brocker was defeated by Symes in the Republican primary in August, and then mounted a subsequent write-in campaign.

“Just like in the primary election it’s very humbling to have so many people vote their confidence in me and I look forward to starting the job and doing my best,” Symes said in a Facebook post. “In addition to the votes, I really appreciate the support I got from so many friends, financial and encouragement and good advice and just plain being interested in how the race was going. It’s been a really fun and interesting journey and I’m eager to start the next part of it.”

 

ELSEWHERE, Iolans overwhelmingly approved extending the city’s 1-percent sales tax another 10 years, by a 3-to-1 margin, 1,214 votes to 373.

Proceeds from the sales tax, which has been in place since 1989, go to street improvements and other capital projects. Since 2011, half of the collections also have been used to help pay construction costs of Allen County Regional Hospital.

Trustees have indicated they will approach the city again for further assistance, now that the tax has been re-upped by voters.

 

BOARD of Education members for USD 257 will no longer be required to live in certain parts of the district.

By another substantial margin, 67 percent to 33 percent, (1,728 to 867) voters approved all at-large representation.

The impetus was to encourage more potential candidates to run for school board seats, with most elections uncontested in recent years.

 

ALLEN Countians stayed red in other races across the state.

Republican Steve Watkins, who edged Paul Davis for the Second Congressional seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, carried Allen County by 23 percentage points, 58 percent to 35.

Likewise, voters in the eastern part of the county favored Republican Kenneth Collins over Democratic incumbent Adam Lusker, 63 to 36 percent for a seat in the Kansas House of Representatives. Collins also edged Lusker in the rest of District 2.

Allen County also echoed other statewide winners: Attorney General Derek Schmidt, State Treasurer Jake LaTurner, Insurance Commissioner Vicki Schmidt and Secretary of State Scott Schwab.

The one significant difference between Allen County and the rest of the state came in the governor’s race. While Kris Kobach was defeated by Democrat Laura Kelly statewide, the Republican carried Allen County by 11 percentage points, 52 to 41 percent.

 

The Iola Register

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