When incumbent Kansas District 38 Sen. Bud Estes was called out to join the Smoky Hills PBS candidate forum, a decision was made to decline the offer due to Estes' health.


"He's in the hospital and laying low and getting better before the next (legislative) session," Estes' wife Renae Estes said to the Daily Globe over the phone. "We'll probably turn down PBS thing because doctors want him to get better."


Renae Estes did not respond regarding why Bud Estes had been hospitalized but stated he would be responding to the candidate questionnaire sent out to all election candidates.


Bud Estes last made a public appearance in Dodge City on July 23 with Tracey Mann, 1st Congressional District candidate in the lead up to the 2020 primary election.


In June this year it had been reported that Bud Estes contracted COVID-19. According to The Topeka Capital Journal, Estes told them in June he likely had been exposed to the virus in March in Topeka.


In November 2017, Bud Estes had undergone a kidney transplant. At the time Bud Estes said the decision was made when his daughter-in-law was a 98% match for the transplant instead of going on dialysis.


Kanas Senate District 38 Democratic candidate Edgar Pando said during his callout of Bud Estes that, "My opponent has not participated in a forum since July and has been absent from numerous public events since that event."


Upon learning of Bud Estes' confirmed hospitalizationl Pando said, "It’s unfortunate to hear about Senator Estes’ declining condition, and my thoughts are with his family during this time. Senator Estes has served District 38 for many years, and I look forward to engaging with my fellow southwest Kansans over the next few weeks to discuss the future of our community and how I will faithfully represent them in the Statehouse."


As for his current health, Renae Estes said, "He's doing great and doing better and he will be back, he always does."


At this time the next legislative session is set to begin Jan. 11, 2021. However, an exact date is not set.


The general election for Senate District 38 is Nov. 3 with advance voting in Ford County starting on Thursday, Oct. 15. Polls are open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Ford County Election office in the Rose Room.


Additional advance voting dates are from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 24; 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 27; 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 28; 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 29 and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 31.


To contact the writer, email vmarshall@dodgeglobe.com