Eight candidates survived a 15-person primary and faced off in a hotly contested Dodge City Community College Board of Trustees race.

On Tuesday, the residents of Ford County cast their votes.

One incumbent — Gary Harshberger — returns to a position on the board with newcomers Kathy Ramsour, Mia Schraeder Korbelik and Dan Reichenborn joining the board.

The DCCC Board of Trustees is expanding to seven members, so four seats were filled despite only three incumbents seeking re-election.

The other incumbents, current board president Morris Reeves and Merrill Conant, did not make it back on the board.

Ramsour led the voting with 1,150 votes, followed by Korbelik with 1,495, Reichenborn with 1,418 and Harshberger earning 1,273 votes. Not being elected was Conant with 1,257, Pete Weil with 1,129, Bill Hammond at 1,117 votes and Reeves with 904.

"I believe in this college, Dodge City and Ford County," Ramsour said. "I think everybody will pull together. Everybody will try to work together for the betterment of the college."

"I really want to work with everybody to make it better," Reichenborn said. "You hear so many things bouncing off the wall, I need to find out what’s true and what’s not and work with the others on the board to make things better.

"I’m looking forward to working with everyone on the board."

The DCCC board has been embroiled in controversy. Recently Trustee Terry Malone revealed in an open meeting that the college was facing a possible grand jury indictment in Arizona. The grand jury is deciding if the college over-charged the federal government $8.5 million for its helicopter program and the board was notified in executive session about the action.

Malone has also been upset over the sale of 3.1 acres of land to Dodge City so a Sutherland’s home improvement store and possibly a couple of restaurants can build in the community. The college agreed to sell the land for $550 instead of assessed value.

Malone heavily backed Hammond, Reichenborn, Korbelik and Weil in the election and has stated in political ads the increase in debt at Dodge City Community College, a vote of no confidence for president Dr. Harold Nolte and more.

Several employees — and former employees — have said the information in the ads were either taken out of context or outright lies.

Despite the rhetoric through the election the board must now pull together.

"I was a little surprised, but you never know," said Korbelik of the results. "I’m just thrilled and happy to serve the college and intend to work my hardest and use my talents to make the college a better institution."

A total of 2,857 votes were cast in the race. It was a larger than expected total as election officials in Dodge City said more than 900 votes were cast before noon at the civic center Tuesday.

 

To contact the writer email rbluhm@dodgeglobe.com.