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Voters favor expanded commission

Commission has until Jan. 1 to draw new districts

Staff writer

Marion County commission will go from three members to five after 2,450 voters voted in favor and 2,016 voted against a ballot question asking if the commission should change to a five-member district.

Dianne Novak, who first brought up the idea of a five-member commission, was pleased to hear the measure passed.

“I believe this is going to really benefit Marion County,” Novak said. “I think this is a good move on the part of the county. I think it will make a difference in the way things are done in the county.”

The next steps are to redraw commissioner districts and elect or appoint commissioners to fill two additional seats.

“We have until the end of the year to have an exact layout of district divisions,” Novak said. “They have to be laid out as equal in population as possible.”

Novak said it’s not necessary to hold a special election for the first year.

“The parties have a process by which commissioners can be appointed,” she said. “I doubt seriously there will be an election. I think the appointment process will take place because of the cost involved. That needs to happen promptly after the first of the year.”

According to county clerk Tina Spencer, the additional commissioners can be elected in a year.

“The statute says they take office in January of the next year following the general election,” Spencer said.

Commissioner Randy Dallke predicted the commission would have to get right to work.

“It’s a new step in Marion County,” Dallke said. “There are different ways of doing it. We are going to have to work overtime.”

In city races, Kimberly Koop of Burns, and Brent Driggers and Byron McCarty of Hillsboro, all running unopposed, were elected.

County commissioner Kent Becker, also running unopposed, was reelected.

Ben Sexton and Steven Hornbaker were retained as 8th Judicial District judges and all court of appeals judges were retained.

In the gubernatorial race, Republicans Kris Kobach and Wink Hartman garnered the most Marion County votes at 2,491, defeating Democrats Laura Kelly and Lynn Rogers at 1,655, independents Greg Orman and John Doll at 405, Libertarians Jeff Caldwell and Mary Gerit at 53, and independents Rick and Nathaniel Kloos at 31.

In the secretary of state race, Republican Scott Schwab got 3,081 votes, Democrat Brian McClendon got 1,365, and Libertarian Rob Hodgkinson got 140.

For attorney general, Republican Derek Schmidt got 3,564 votes over Democrat Sara Swain’s 1,010 votes.

For state treasurer, Republican Jake LaTurner got 3,514 votes and Democrat Marci Francisco got 1,039.

Republican Vicki Schmidt got 3,683 votes for commissioner of insurance and Democrat Nathaniel McLaughlin got 819.

Incumbent District 70 state representative John Barker got 1,265 votes over Democratic opponent Jo Schwartz at 599.

For District 74, Republican Stephen Owens, running unopposed, got 2,283 votes.

For district 7 board of education, Republican Ben Jones got 3,215 votes, defeating Democrat James Hannon at 1,241.

Last modified Nov. 8, 2018

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