Dodge City Daily Globe - Dodge City, KS
  • City Commission election today

  • Seven candidates for Dodge City Commission are seeking your vote to lead the city.
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  • Seven candidates for Dodge City Commission are seeking your vote to lead the city.
    Polls are open from 7 a.m. through 7 p.m. at the Dodge City Civic Center. Voters are required to provide a government-issued, photo identification.
    Voters can choose up to three candidates to support, the top two vote-getters will receive four-year terms on the city’s government; the third place candidate will receive a two-year term. Every two years three seats on the five-member commission are up for grabs.
    The Ford County Clerk’s office will make the results available on the county’s website, returns are expected to be counted by 8:30 p.m.
    Incumbent commissioners Kent Smoll and Rick Sowers are running for reelection. Joining them on the ballot are Russ McBee, a financial aid administrator at Dodge City Community College; Joe Peters, a businessman and part-time sheriff’s deputy; Jan Scoggins, a nursing homes ombudsman and former state representative for Dodge City; Jeff Turner, a pastor; Liliana Zuniga, a downtown business owner.
    Commissioner Jim Lembright, a veteran city leader who was appointed to his seat to fill a vacancy, is not seeking reelection.
    Each of the candidates has been interviewed by the Daily Globe. Those articles are available at www.dodgeglobe.com.
    The field of candidates is the largest allowable in a city general election. If eight or more candidates file to run, the group is whittled to six in a primary election in March.
    The election comes at a time in which the state is looking at participation rates in municipal races. The leading proposal would shift city elections to the federal calendar with elections taking place in Novembers of even-numbered years.
    Cities and counties have opposed the related bills, citing home rule concerns and the loss of importance on city elections when added to the school, college, county, state and national joint November ballot.
    The last two Dodge City elections, which were uncontested except to determine which candidate received the short term, brought very few voters even in comparison to congressional midterm years.
    Ford County voter participation rates in recent decades tend to be below the Kansas and national averages.
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