With Senator Jake LaTurner taking on the duties of the state treasurer after being appointed to that position by Governor Sam Brownback on April 18, the Republican Precinct Committee members of LaTurner’s 13th District face the task of nominating his replacement.
Four candidates are currently being considered for the nomination to the seat, whose district includes the southern part of Bourbon and Labette counties and all of Cherokee and Crawford counties.
Local party leader Randall Readinger said the Convention of Delegates will be held in Pittsburg Sunday, where nominations will be made and voted on by those committee members of the district. The voting will happen in rounds until a candidate receives a majority of the votes.
A forum was held Tuesday afternoon, when members of the Republican Party were able to hear candidates introduce themselves and discuss topics such as education funding, rural hospital issues, tax lid legislation and their commitment to defending the seat during a special election in 2018.
The four candidates up for nomination include Richard Hilderbrand of Galena, Dale Coomes of Girard and Todd Briggs and Terry Calloway of Pittsburg. Jeff Fischer and Robert Uhler of Bourbon County initially submitted their names as potential candidates but later withdrew.
Readinger said the consensus after the forum was that the candidates have varying backgrounds and experiences and any of them would serve the district well.
“Any of them could do a good job for the District, if elected,” Readinger said.
The successful nominee after Sunday’s vote is expected to take his position Monday, May 1, with the beginning of the new legislation session.