OLATHE. Republican precinct committees from House District 26 met Tuesday night in Olathe to elect a replacement for Rob Olson, who recently was elected to the Kansas Senate.
Olson had been elected to the Senate after the resignation of Karin Brownlee, who was appointed the new Kansas Labor Secretary in the Brownback administration.
Three candidates were nominated to replace Olson including Shenon Bone, an Olathe business owner, Larry Campbell, who had served in the Kansas House four terms previously, and Bob Montgomery, an Olathe City Councilman.
Bone admitted she did not have the experience of the other two candidates but asked, “If I cannot represent you in Topeka, who can?” When Bone introduced her family she said “this is why I’m here tonight.”
Campbell said his main advantage was experience and that he had been “successful at this job before.” According to Campbell his 30 years of banking experience would be helpful in the legislature.
Montgomery said he opposed a secular agenda and “liberal idelogy.” “Everything is on the board for cuts.” Montgomery said he would vote to repeal the recent 1% sales tax increase in Kansas.
Precinct committee members quizzed the candidates for 30 minutes on a variety of issues.
One person challenged the candidates to “tell me clearly where to make the first cut.”
None of the candidates had a specific answer. Bone said she needed more information and would do homework before making such a proposal. Campbell said it was a tough question but he would not raise taxes. Montgomery agreed with his opponents and admitted the tough challenge in KPERS pension reform for state workers.
The decision for the precinct committees was from among three conservative candidates.
In the first round of balloting, Bone received 8 votes, Campbell 10, and Montgomery 15. A second round of balloting was needed since no one had received a majority of the 33 possible votes.
Montgomery prevailed in the second round over Campbell, 20 to 13, and is the new State Rep-Elect. He will take office in Topeka on Wednesday.
Montgomery thanked his opponents. He joked that it was “scary” that many had approached him with various statistics and information to help. “Give me your input about what you’d like to see.”
In his farewell address, former State Rep. Rob Olson said the biggest problem in Topeka had been the out-of-control state spending and government growth under a Democratic governor. Olson said there had not been enough votes in the House to stop the annual 5 to 8 percent increases each year. Olson said the increased spending resulted in increased taxes.
Olson said he was looking forward to working with Governor Sam Brownback. “The forecast for the future for this state is very bright, but it’s going to take some time,” according to Olson.
- Three candidates vie for House seat in Olathe’s 26th District, Kansas City Star, Jan. 3, 2011.
- Post-election elections to replace legislators, Kansas Watchdog, Jan. 4, 2011.
Contact: Earl F Glynn, firstname.lastname@example.org, KansasWatchdog.org