(SEDGWICK COUNTY, Kan.) — Only 60 votes separated two Democratic candidates running for a seat on the Sedgwick County Commission. In District 4, State Senator Oletha Faust-Goudeau beat former Wichita City Council member Sharon Fearey.
Faust-Goudeau says she looks forward to the race in November because she wants to focus her attention on local issues. She says after spending eight years in Topeka, she wants to take her experience and help the people on a daily basis. Fearey says she's disappointed by the results, but feels she ran a great race with the help of a lot of volunteers. She says this is how things work in politics, it all comes down to one night.
Faust-Goudeau will run against Republican Richard Ranzau. He beat Lucy Burtnett with 55% of the vote. Right now, commissioner Kelly Parks holds the District 4 seat, but he is not seeking reelection.
For the Democratic seat in District 1, Wichita School Board member Betty Arnold beat out Juanita Blackmon. Arnold had 69% of the vote. She will run against incumbent Republican Dave Unruh in November.
And in District 5, current Wichita City Council member Jim Skelton won the Republican seat with 42% of the vote. He beat out Chuck Warren who received 36% and Dion Avello who received 20% of the vote. Skelton will run against incumbent Democrat Gwen Welshimer in November.
Three of the winners Tuesday are already elected officials. If they win in November, they would have to resign their current position and someone else would be appointed. That's the case for the Wichita City Council, Wichita School Board and Kansas State Senate. Sedgwick County Commissioners make $83,000 a year. The position is considered a full time job.