Voters to face an array of candidates and issues

Marion County voters will find a full ballot of national, state, county and township candidates as well two constitutional amendments to consider when they enter the voting booth Tuesday.

Who can vote?

U.S. citizens who are legal residents of Kansas and at least 18 years old are eligible to vote if their registration is current as of the Oct. 23 deadline.

The eligibility of citizens with felony convictions was recently clarified by the Kansas Secretary of State’s office, according to Carol Maggard, Marion County clerk.

According to the state’s memorandum, people convicted of felonies can vote if they were sentenced to probation. Those sentenced to prison and or prison followed by conditional release-parole or house arrest-cannot vote until they have been discharged.

Felons who lose voting rights must re-register after their sentences are completed.

National races

In this presidential year, voters may be surprised to find seven candidates and their running mates listed for the nation’s highest office.

The best known, of course, are the candidates of the country’s two largest political parties. George W. Bush and Dick Cheney make up the Republican ticket while Al Gore and Joe Lieberman are the Democratic Party nominees.

Voters may also recognize the names of two other candidates who have received some media attention through the past several months.

Ralph Nader is running with vice-presidential choice Winona LaDuke as an independent candidate, while Pat Buchanan and his running mate, Ezola Foster, are the nominees of the Reform Party.

Also on the ballot will be lesser-known candidates Howard Phillips and J. Curtis Frazier of the Constitution Party, Harry Browne and Art Olivier of the Libertarian Party and John Hagelin and Laura Ticciati, who are running as independents.

Voters in Marion County can also choose their favorite candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives.

In the First District, which includes most of Marion County, the two candidates are Jerry Moran, the Republican incumbent from Hays, and his challenger, Jack Warner of Dodge City, who is running as a Libertarian.

Voters in the Fourth District, which includes Peabody and the immediate area, will find three candidates on their ballot: Republican Todd Tiahrt is the incumbent from Goddard; Carlos Nolla, Wichita, is the Democratic candidates; Steven Rosile, Wichita, is running as a Libertarian.

State races

Marion County is divided into two districts for the Kansas Senate but will vote for the same candidates for the Kansas House of Representatives.

In the state senate, all but the eastern edge of the county is in the 35th District. Voters there can choose between Diana Dierks, a Democrat from Ramona, and Jay Emler, the Republican from Lindsborg. Emler defeated the incumbent, Don Steffes, in the August primary.

The eastern townships of Milton, Doyle and Grant are part of the 17th District and can choose between two Emporia residents, the incumbent, Harry Stephens, a Democrat, and James A. Barnett, the Republican challenger.

In the race for state representative, voters will choose their representative for the 70th District from two Marion County residents. Harry E. Bennett, a Democrat from Marion, is challenging incumbent Don Dahl, a Republican from Hillsboro, for the seat in Topeka.

Voters in Milton, Doyle and Grant townships will also have the opportunity to vote for their representative to the Kansas State Board of Education. Bill Wagnon, a Democrat from Topeka, is the incumbent. The challenger, Patrick H. Hill, is a Republican from Topeka.

Judicial decisions

One of the more challenging decisions voters must make is whether to retain judges. Rather than choosing between two or more candidates, voters are asked whether the sole candidate for the position should be retained in office.

Information about the perspectives of the different judges is difficult to obtain because their decisions generally are not monitored by “watchdog” groups and because they do not face competition, they rarely have to articulate their approach to specific issues.

Nevertheless, voters will be asked whether to retain the following sitting judges:

— Donald L. Allegrucci, Pittsburg, for Position 6 on the Kansas Supreme Court;

— Robert E. Davis, Leavenworth, position 7 on the Kansas Supreme Court;

— G. Joseph Pierron Jr., Olathe, Position 3 on the Kansas Court of Appeals;

— Christel E. Marquardt, Topeka, Position 5, Kansas Court of Appeals;

— Michael F. Powers, Marion, Division 3 of the U.S. District Court, District 8.

County races

Marion County will have only two contested races this fall.

All county residents will choose their sheriff from two candidates from Lincolnville: Lee M. Becker, the Republican incumbent, and Roy Houdyshell, the Democratic challenger.

The other contested race is for the seat on the county commission from District 2 being vacated by Linda Peterson. The Democratic candidate is Howard Collett, Marion. The Republican candidate is Eileen Sieger.

Also on the ballot will be several uncontested races:

— Leroy Wetta, Peabody, a Republican running for the county commission seat from District 3 now filled by Jack Bruner;

— Carol A. Maggard, Marion, incumbent Republican for county clerk;

— Jeannine Bateman, Marion, incumbent Republican for county treasurer;

— Faye A. Makovec, Marion, incumbent Republican for register of deeds;

— Susan C. Robson, Republican candidate for county attorney.

Township choices

Voters in some of Marion County’s townships will have the chance to consider nominees for trustee and treasurer.

Some positions will have no candidates listed on the ballot. The position will be filled after votes are canvassed by the county commission after Nov. 7. If a resident in the township receives at least five write-in votes, that person will by asked by letter to fill the position. If the person responds in the affirmative, or does not respond, the position is considered filled.

On the ballot for township trustee are:

— Blaine: Donald L. Biesel, Democrat from Tampa;

— Catlin: No filing;

— Centre: Jon W. Thole, Marion Republican;

— Clark: No filing;

— Clear Creek: Sherry E. Kohman, Democrat from Marion;

— Colfax: No filing;

— Doyle: Jerry Siebert, Republican from Cedar Point;

— Durham Park: Glennon Crowther, Republican from Durham;

— East Branch: No filing;

— Fairplay: Charles D. DeForest, Republican from Florence;

— Gale: Garry Vogel, Democrat from Marion;

— Grant: James A. Herzet, Democrat from Marion;

— Lehigh: No filing;

— Liberty: No filing;

— Logan: Ronald Unruh, Republican from Durham;

— Lost Springs: No filing;

— Menno: Merle Selzer, Republican from Hillsboro;

— Milton: No filing;

— Moore: No filing;

— Peabody: No filing;

— Risley: Lauren W. Enns, Democrat from Hillsboro;

— Summit: No filing;

— West Branch: Verney L. Voth, Republican from Newton;

— Wilson: No filing.

Following are the candidates for township treasurer:

— Blaine: Kris Srajer, Democrat from Tampa;

— Catlin: No filing;

— Centre: Raymond Kraus, Democrat from Marion;

— Clark: Edward P. Vinduska, Democrat from Marion;

— Clear Creek: Marcus Carlson, Republican from Lincolnville;

— Colfax: No filing;

— Doyle: Kathy Inlow, Republican from Florence;

— Durham Park: Reinhold Winter, Republican from Durham;

— East Branch: No filing;

— Fairplay: Clifford J. Hett, Republican from Peabody;

— Gale: Marvin E. Meisinger, Republican from Marion;

— Grant: Vickie Kraus, Republican from Marion;

— Lehigh: Walter J. Bartel, Republican from Lehigh;

— Liberty: No filing;

— Logan: Lane Dick, Republican from Ramona;

— Lost Springs: Robert L. Novak, Republican from Lost Springs;

— Menno: Duane Duerksen, Republican from Hillsboro;

— Milton: No filing;

— Moore: No filing;

— Peabody: No filing;

— Risley: Paul D. Penner, Republican from Hillsboro;

— Summit: No filing;

— West Branch: Dwight R. Schmidt, Republican from Newton.

— Wilson: Joel Suderman, Republican from Marion.

Improvement districts

Voters can choose representatives to three improvement district boards.

For the Eastshore Improvement District (EID#1), the candidates are James Lee Christiansen, Marion; Donald Rock, Marion; and Floyd Schanfeld, Marion.

For Marion County Lake Improvement District (MCLID#2), the candidates are Dan Crimine, Marion; Donald A. Sklenar, Marion; and Frances Smalley, Marion.

For the Marion County Pilsen Improvement District (MCPID#3), the candidates are Jess C. Erickson, Marion; Eugene J Konecny, Marion; and Kathy Silhan, Marion.

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