3 file as deadline passes

By The Mercury

Next year’s Riley County Commission will have a majority of new faces on it.

That result was ensured when the noon filing deadline passed with three filings for the Second District commission seat, none of them incumbent commissioner Al Johnson. He chose not to file for a fourth term in the seat to which he was first elected in 2000.

Two Republicans and a Democrat did, however, file for the largely rural seat, the result being a three-way GOP primary and a November general election contest.

Bob Boyd, a resident of Grant Township, and Larry Larson, of Randolph, both placed their names on the Republican primary ballot, joining Jeff Holmes of Riley, who had filed earlier in the week.

The only Democrat to join the race Friday was Scott Seel, a Manhattanite. There were no new candidate filings for the largely Manhattan third commission district seat presently held by Karen McCulloh, who indicated earlier in the year she would not stand for re-election. That race will be decided between Democrat Rod Harms and the winner of a second Republican primary pitting Dave Fiser against Ron Wells.

The noon filing deadline applies only to county and township offices. There is a separate filing deadline – presently June 11 – for legislative offices. That deadline could be pushed back if settlement of a suit in federal court designed to redraw legislative and congressional boundaries necessitates doing so.

In announcing his candidacy, Seel said he would campaign on a platform of controlling property tax increases. “Property taxes in particular hurt a lot of people when they go up and up,” he said.

The winners of the two seats to be decided in November will join Republican holdover commissioner Dave Lewis on the three-person body next year. Lewis is in the midst of a four-year term he won in 2010.

Four incumbent county office holders – county attorney Barry Wilkerson, clerk Rich Vargo, treasurer Eileen King and register of deeds Deb Regester – all filed for re-election. No primary or general election opponents filed against any of the four.

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