Republican Precinct Committee members selected Alicia Straub of Ellinwood to fill the Kansas Legislative House District 113 seat vacated by Greg Lewis. Other candidates were Donna Hoener-Queal of Pratt and David Keesling of Chase.
Alicia Straub has been chosen as the replacement for Greg Lewis for Kansas House District 113. Lewis resigned from the position because of health issues earlier this year.
Republican Precinct Committee members gathered Tuesday, March 12 in Pratt to select, by secret ballot, a replacement for Lewis. Nominated for the position were Straub of Ellinwood, David Keesling of Chase and Donna Hoener-Queal of Pratt. Vote results: Straub 51, Keesling 22, Hoener-Queal 18.
Straub said she was surprised to be selected on the first ballot. She anticipated selection would go to a second ballot. Moments after being selected, Straub thanked the committee members and gave out her phone number to everyone in the room because she wants to hear from her constituents.
“I want your input,” Straub said.
Straub thanked the other candidates for getting involved with Kansas politics and she thanked the committee members for doing their job. The committee members practiced the same rights listed in the Declaration of Independence for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
“They did what they were supposed to do today,” Straub said.
Moments after the meeting adjourned, House Assistant Majority Leader Les Mason presented Straub with an official Legislative pin.
Officially, Straub is not a member of the Legislature yet. She will have to wait to take office until Gov. Laura Kelly approves her selection.
Straub said she is anxious to get to work. She already has connections in the state Legislature so she will not step into the position as an unknown.
Straub is currently vice president of the Kansas Legislative Policy Group and will have to resign that position to become a representative. The KLPG is a coalition of rural Kansas counties that have a common interest in preserving county tax bases and retaining local control, according to the KLPG website.
At the selection meeting, candidates were nominated and each nominating person had three minutes to give a nominating speech. Then, each candidate had five minutes to speak to the audience. A 30-minute question and answer period followed with each candidate answering each question in rotation.
Committee members then voted by secret ballot. Candidates had to receive 50 percent of the vote plus one to be selected. If 50 percent plus one was not reached on the first ballot, the person with the fewest votes was eliminated and another vote would be taken until someone received the required number of votes but only one vote was needed.
Votes were openly counted and each candidate could have a witness watch the count. Two clerks independently recorded the vote tally to make sure the count was correct. Pratt High School social science teacher Kyle Farmer read the ballots to the clerks.
More than 125 people attended the meeting held at the Pratt Community Center. Pratt County Committee Chair Darren Hodgkinson acted as moderator and Rep. Mark Kahrs, Dist. 87, was parliamentarian.