Local Republican Party officials have set a Jan. 30 meeting to select a replacement for State Rep. Susan Mosier, who is resigning her legislative seat to take a job with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. The county party chair said Friday she hopes that the new representative may be at work in Topeka as early as Feb. 1, the date that Mosier’s resignation will take effect.
Barbara VanSlyke, county party chair, said precinct committee persons will convene at 7 p.m. Jan. 30, a Monday, in the Landon Room of the Holiday Inn to select Mosier’s successor.
Confirmation of Mosier’s resignation date was received Friday morning from the office of Secretary of State. Normally that date is critical because state law requires that precinct committee persons choose a replacement within 21 days of the receipt of the resignation. But VanSlyke said she believes that setting a Jan. 30 date for the meeting obviates any such concern. She hopes that Gov. Sam Brownback, who must formally ratify the selection, will do so in time for the successor to take his or her seat on Feb. 1, providing some continuity to representation within the district.
One person is known to be seeking the interim position. Frank Beer, owner of a local business, has expressed his interest. Former county commissioner Bob Newsome at one point explored interest, but Newsome said Friday that he has decided not to try for the seat.
Unless the candidate holds a precinct committee position — which Beer does not — the process of electing a successor does not permit potential candidates to nominate themselves. Only the 39 committee members can nominate and vote on candidates. According to county records, the 39 current committee members in the 67th district, listed alphabetically by last name, are: John and Judy Ball, Burke Bayer, Howard and Elizabeth Beikmann, Deloris Berland, Mark Hatesohl, Richard Hayter, Wayne Henson, Laurie Johnson, Charlotte Kelly, Eileen King, Stacey Kohlmeier, Connie Kvasnicka, John Matta, Joan Mosier, Gary Olds, Kent and Lana Oleen, Henry and Susan Otto, Loren Pepperd, Bob and Mary Reader, Deb Regester, Jim Rhine, Tom Roberts, Mike Ross, Melissa Rundus, Dave Schaefer, Carolyn Spillman, Brad and Karen Streeter, Mark and Susan Taussig, Rosalie Thompson, Tom and Barb VanSlyke, and Stan Watt.
VanSlyke earlier indicated that one requirement of election would be the selectee’s willingness to seek a full term in November, when Mosier’s term would normally expire.
As presently drawn, the 67th legislative district consists of much of the southern and western portions of Manhattan as well as contiguous rural areas. District boundaries are, however, in the process of being redrawn, and since the district’s population is about 2,000 above the ideal size, it is likely to be reduced during the redistricting process.