When Brian Weber announced he was stepping down from his position as the Representative for the 119th House District the search to find a replacement began immediately.
The Ford County Republican Central Committee held a convention to fill the position last week. Two residents of the 119th District put their names in the running, presented information on why they were qualified to serve and the committee, made up of 18 individuals, elected the new 119th Representative.
Maynard "Bud" Estes and Terry Janson were the two candidates in the running and Estes was elected Tuesday, June 18.
"I was elected Tuesday, and sworn in Thursday," Estes said, "it all kind of happened in a whirlwind."
In addition to being sworn in, Estes spent his time in the state capitol meeting other representatives and filling out paperwork so he's ready to begin when the legislature meets again next year.
Although things may have started quickly, Estes now has plenty of time to catch his breath, he won't have to go back to Topeka until January of next year when the 2014 Legislative Session begins.
Estes has served on several boards and commissions in his life including; serving on the Bucklin City Council from 1972 to 1976, Mayor from 1976 to 1990, Board of Directors for the Dodge City Ford and Bucklin Railroad, Ford County Planning Commission and many more, but this is the first time he has run for a position on the state level.
"It's something I've thought about for a long time," Estes said, "But the timing was just never right. When I heard that Brian was stepping down, I decided it was time to try."
Estes went on to say the timing felt right for several reasons including the fact that his four children, three sons and one daughter, have all graduated from college now.
"The people of Southwest Kansas have been good to my company [BTI, BTI wind and Harvest the Wind Network] and my family, now I hope to give something back to them by serving as their representative and giving a voice to the people of the 119th District in Topeka," Estes said.
Although he does call himself a conservative republican, Estes was quick to add that he will give each issue that comes before him consideration no matter what party it comes from.
"Bills must be debated on their worth, not on whether it was a Republican who proposed the idea or a Democrat," Estes said. "I won't just vote with my party, I'll vote based on what's a good idea for Kansas, for Western Kansas and the people of Dodge City."
Estes expects that his freshman year in the House will be spent learning about all the issues and getting familiar with how the process works. But, he's looking forward to the time all the same.
Page 2 of 2 - "I'm so honored to have been elected to take Brian's place," Estes said. "I hope that the experiences I've had throughout my life help me in my time in the House to make informed decisions for the people in Dodge City."
In the legislative off season, Estes will continue as general manager of the Ness City BTI location. He resides with his wife, Renae, in Dodge City.