Donald “Buddy” Mann, rural Moran, will challenge Dick Works, Humboldt, for the First District Allen County Commission seat in the Nov. 2 general election.
Mann filed a petition with Allen County Clerk Sherrie Riebel, which will have him on the ballot as an independent candidate.
Mann has been in the construction business “nearly all my life,” running Mann Heavy Construction for more than 40 years. He and his family also owned and operated the Chicken Shack in Bronson for several years.
Mann filed as an independent despite being a registered Democrat previously.
“I question whether county government needs to have a political affiliation,” Mann said, noting that area city councils and school boards do not rely on candidates being either Republicans or Democrats.
Mann said his background in construction would give him keen insight when discussing the county’s Public Works Department and other projects.
Mann spoke briefly about a pair of hot-button topics in front of the county commissioners, the future of the hospital and the countywide ambulance service.
“I don’t have much of an issue with the ambulance,” he said. “We’ll just see where it ends up.”
Likewise, Mann said he needed to see more facts before he would advocate any kind of changes, through new construction or renovations, to the hospital.
Kansas law permits independents to become a candidate by petition, without going through a primary election. The deadline to do so is noon the day before the primary election, when Republican and Democrat nominations are determined. Riebel noted the day-before-primary deadline was in place to prevent disgruntled candidates in organized political parties from filing after the fact.
Mann’s petitions contained 230 names. Riebel said names of 174 signers were checked, with 160 found to be of registered voters living in the district; 108 valid signatures were needed, based on 4 percent of 2,712 people registered in the First District.
The district is made up of the cities of Humboldt, Moran, Elsmore and Savonburg and rural areas in the townships of Logan, Marmaton, Elsmore, Cottage Grove, Humboldt and Salem.
Works, seeking his sixth four-year term, has represented the district since January 1991.
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