By EARL WATT
• Daily Leader
In the two contested races for the Republican Party’s nomination for Seward County Commission, a newcomer to politics won the District 3 primary while a former commissioner defeated a sitting commissioner in District. 2.
Ada Linenbroker defeated Gary Hittle in District. 3 and will advance to the general election where she will face incumbent Joyce Hibler.
Hibler ran unopposed in the Democratic primary.
“I’m excited,” Linenbroker said. “I wish more people would get out to vote. In a presidential election year maybe there would have been more votes.”
Her victory insures that a woman will remain on the Seward County Commission no matter who wins the general election.
“I think it will be an interesting race between me and Joyce,” Linenbroker said. “We’ll have to see how people vote. She’s been in there quite a while. People know her. I hope people will like what I have to say and what I want to do.”
Linenbroker, who is running in the district that includes neighborhoods in south Liberal, knocked on doors and campaigned for the first time.
“I thought it was interesting,” she said. “I met a lot of people in my neighborhood. On the south end of town, we need to get involved. We have just as many issues as anywhere else in the county. A lot of people came up and told me they wish they could have voted for me but don’t live in my district.”
Linenbroker was thankful to her supporters and to those who lived in other districts who offered support even though they could not vote for her since they did not live in her district.
Former Seward County Commissioner Randy Malin will return to the panel of five commissioners after defeating Stephen “Ike” Eisenhauer Tuesday in the District. 3 Republican primary.
Malin earned 68 percent of the vote over incumbent Eisenhauer in a year when nationwide predictions are against current office holders.
“I think the people have spoken,” Malin said. “I am ready to get after it. I think there are things we should be doing. With the economy the way it is, we need to work our tails off with the money we’ve got.”
Malin said he was a true conservative and was not in favor of a mill levy increase. But he believed it was his stability that appealed to the voters in District. 3.
“I think what appealed to voters was my solid, stable foundation,” Malin said. “That’s what I grew up with — tell the people who you are and what you believe and work towards it. People will accept it or reject it. I remember when I got beat in 2002, I think the hog deal was my demise. I was for the hogs. I knew that would happen and it did happen. I had a friend tell me that he didn’t like my decisions but he admired me for standing for what I believed. We have to stand for what we believe in in this county and you have to be on solid footing and stable in your thinking.”
When it came to taxes, Malin said there is a better option than property taxes — a sales tax.
“I am against raising the mill levy,” he said. “But it may get done before I get in there. The voters can rest assured I will not raise property taxes. My philosophy is the sales tax is the fairest tax. We have people coming in from 60 to 100 miles, they can help pay for it, too.”
Malin said he also would be an advocate for the fair.
“I’ve always been a proponent of the fair,” Malin said. “When I was growing up, the fair was the thing to go to. Kids had livestock. It was a family deal. The whole family could go and watch shows, exhibits and rodeos. I’m still a proponent of the fair. It needs to be funded. A lot of people can’t go on vacation but can come to the fair. It gives them a break. We need to keep the fair. It is a good part of the county.”
Malin added that he appreciated those that voted for him and allowed him to put his signs in their yards, and he was also appreciative of the way opponent Ike Eisenhauer ran the race.
“I would tell Mr. Eisenhauer he ran a good clean campaign,” he said. “I thought we kept it on the up and up.”