Thursday, July 12, 2012
On the November ballot, there are a number of federal, state, and local political offices. However, in Sedgwick County and other parts of Kansas, some key races will be decided before then.
Sedgwick County voters will decide Aug. 7 who the next District Attorney will be. That’s because the only two candidates in the race are both republicans. It’s just one race in which the candidates are more focused on August than November.
"This is the first time, especially with my race, that we're going to have a new district attorney since Ronald Regan was President," says Sedgwick County District Attorney candidate Marc Bennett.
That’s why Bennett is encouraging everybody in the county to vote in the Aug. 7 republican primary.
"Anybody who wants to be heard on this election, whether they're independent or never voted before or Democrat, now's the time to weigh in and get yourself registered and you have until the 17th to do so," Bennett says
Joshua Shorter, a campaign volunteer for Bennett’s Republican opponent, Kevin O’Connor, says the O’Connor camp isn’t actively encouraging voters to change party affiliation. But the campaign is making sure those voters know how important the primary is.
"Most of the races in Sedgwick County this year are primary races this year and so it's an early opportunity for voters to make a stand on what they believe," Shorter says.
He also says it’s important for anybody voting on August 7 to be informed.
“I think it's important for people to go out and to figure out on their own,” Shorter says. “To not take a 30-second TV ad or a calling card or a mailing to decide who a good candidate is."
The DA’s race isn’t the only one in Sedgwick County being decided in the primary. The County Commission race between incumbent Karl Peterjohn and Wichita City Councilman Jeff Longwell will be decided then, too.
"I've heard people that say they may even miss the general election, but the primary, because it's going to really be a series of races that's going to decide whose going to sit in office, that's all they're concerned with," Longwell says.
Peterjohn points out that it’s not a unique situation for his district.
"In 2008, there was a primary and a general election in my contest, but prior to that, basically the Republican primary had settled this seat going back to 1992," he says.
The situation also isn't unique to Sedgwick County. In Sumner County, for example, nearly every race will be decided in the Aug. 7 Republican primary.
For more information on registering to vote before the Aug. 7 primary, or any other Kansas election, click the link below.