Incoming Harper County Commissioner Cecil Brazzell Jr. died suddenly, about six weeks before he was to have taken office.
Brazzell -- a retiree -- ran unopposed in November for one of the three commission seats in the southern Kansas county. He defeated incumbent William McIntire and a third candidate in the August Republican primary.
Republican precinct committee leaders said Thursday that a replacement will be nominated to serve until the November 2010 election. The governor officially would make the appointment.
Brazzell's sudden death is the second in three years that affected the Harper County Commission. In October 2005, Commissioner Stanley Wethington died after suffering a stroke during the first year of his term.
The cause of Brazzell's death has not been confirmed.