Primary forum features four candidates
This week the community had one more opportunity to hear from candidates when Kansas Farm Bureau and the El Dorado Chamber of Commerce hosted a Primary Legislative Forum featuring candidates running for State Representative District 75 and Butler County Commission District 4.
Bill Young, Butler Community College’s Vice President of Digital Transformation/CIO, was the moderator and asked the candidates questions, while the audience was silent. Each candidate was allotted the same amount of time to respond to the questions written by the Farm Bureau and the Chamber.
The forum led off with the candidates sharing personal and profession information.
Mary Martha Good
Mary Martha Good, is the current Republican Kansas House Representative for District 7, which includes Cassoday, El Dorado, Elbing, Potwin, and Towanda. Good, who was a school teacher in the El Dorado school system since 1989, recently retired from teaching. She decided to run for office to focus on providing accountability and transparency in Topeka and to help Kansans on KanCare waiting for crucial health services. Good has served on the Children and Seniors Committee, the Education Committee and the Election Committee during the 2017 legislative session, and sponsored a number of bills.
Best quote of the evening: “When the Department of Revenue outsourced $51 million worth of jobs to Canada in May, that really did not sit well with me. ...When everyone is paying their fair share of taxes, our three legged stool becomes balanced. Folks, I’m here to tell you that it’s going to take a long time to fix.. It will take a generation to fix.”
Will Carpenter is challenging Mary Martha Good in the Republican Primary. He is a former Republican member of the Kansas House of Representatives, representing District 75 from 2013 to 2017. Carpenter owns a grocery store in Potwin, El Dorado Lakeside Storage, a car wash in Towanda, and has previously owned other small, hometown markets in cities throughout south central Kansas. While serving in the House, he was a member of several committees and was also appointed to Chair the Social Services Budget Committee. He has served two terms on the Butler County Commission. As a small business owner and operator, Carpenter sees the need to promote and expand business to create jobs and grow the economy. He has voiced his concerns about Good’s voting record in Topeka. Carpenter supported former Gov. Brownback’s tax cuts and Good voted to repeal them. He was the incumbent Representative in 2014 when Good defeated him in the primary election.
Best quote: “The first thing we need to realize about community colleges is that they are in fact regional colleges and we have to look at how to get those colleges funded from a regional area and not just the county. The colleges can pay their fair portions, but let’s look at region, not just Butler County.”
Mike Wheeler was originally appointed by Gov. Bill Graves in 2003 to fill a two-year term for the newly created District 4 position on the Butler County Commission. Commissioner Wheeler was re-elected and sworn into office January 2015 for a four-year term that expires January 2019. Wheeler has owned and operated grocery stores in El Dorado and Eureka, and for the past 20 years, he been a realtor and real estate broker. Wheeler has served as chair of the Susan B. Allen Memorial Hospital Board and president of the SBA Foundation Board. He has stated that maintenance and improving the county’s infrastructure, with a focus on roads and bridges, are priorities to him. He sees a need for an alternate form of funding to address the roads and infrastructure, now funded by property taxes.
Best quote: “I am the best candidate because of my experience. I understand how county government works and I’ve shown leadership skills. ”
Shane Krause is challenging incumbent Mike Wheeler for the County Commission District 4 seat. Krause is a carpenter, a craftsman, and employed at Susan B. Memorial Hospital. Krause has served on the City Commission of El Dorado and other boards.
He wants to start a movement to a new way of thinking about how county government should work. He is adamant about term limits for county commissioners and that limits would allow new people with new ideas to fill seats on the commission. Krause promises to vote to lower commissioner compensation to a reasonable rate and never to receive rent from the county, like his opponent who collects rent from his office building from the county corrections department.
Best quote of the evening: “I’m someone new. I’m not a part of the club. I will never vote for a raise for a commissioner. I will never own property that collects rent from the county and I will never run for a second term unless there is a real possibility that my vote is needed to accomplish that goal.”
One of the questions of some interest to voters concerned Highway 254 and the increase of accidents recently.
Wheeler explained that there is currently a group that is focused on the K254 corridor between El Dorado and Wichita. However, Butler County Sheriff Kelly Herzet maintains that most of the accidents at the K254/Ohio St. intersection are due to inattentive driving.
Krause stated that because K254 is a state highway that it would be necessary to have cooperation from the state on any changes. He said that he would like to see a study done on similar roads comparable in posted speed limits and that better signage or illumination of the dangerous intersections would be advantageous, but ultimately it comes down to drivers operating safely.
Primary Election Day is Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2018 Polling hours 7 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Candidates for Kansas Governor
Jeff Colyer and Tracey Mann
Jim Barnett and Rosie Hansen
Kris Kobach and Wink Hartman
Patrick Kucera and Patricia Reitz
Ken Selzer and Jen Sanderson
Arden Andersen and Dale Cowsert
Jack Bergerson and Alexander Cline
Carl Brewer and Chris Morrow
Laura Kelly and Lynn Rogers
Joshua Svaty and Katrina Lewison
Jeff Caldwell and Mary Gerlt (
Rick Kloos and Nate Kloos
Greg Orman and John Doll
Secretary of State:
(Kris Kobach (R)* - Candidate for Governor in 2018.)
Randy Duncan (R)
Keith Esau (R)
Craig McCullah (R)
Scott Schwab (R)
Dennis Taylor (R)
Brian "Bam" McClendon (D)
Rob Hodgkinson (Libertarian)
Derek Schmidt (R)
Sarah Swain (D)
Jake LaTurner (R)
Marci Francisco (D)
State Insurance Commissioner:
( Ken Selzer (R)* - Candidate for Governor in 2018.)
Vicki Schmidt (R)
Clark Shultz (R)
Nathaniel McLaughlin (D)
U.S. Congress District 4
Rep. Ron Estes (R)* Incumbent
Ron M. Estes (R)
Laura Lombard (D)
James Thompson (D)
Kansas House District 75
Mary Martha Good (R) * Incumbent
Will Carpenter (R)
Kansas House District 77
Kristey Williams (R)* Incumbent
District 13 Court Judge
Jan Satterfield (R)
Mike Ward (R)
Republican Precinct Committeeman
Augusta City Ward 2
Republican Precinct Committeewoman
Augusta City Ward 2
Republican Precinct Committeeman
El Dorado City Ward 1
Richard C. King
Board of Education District 9