By ROBERT PIERCE • Daily Leader
Incumbent District 1 county commissioner C.J. Wettstein took Tuesday’s election with more than a two to one margin over challenger Kevin Clark.
Wettstein, who has been involved in several elections, said this one was easy to take.
“I’ve won them and I’ve lost them, and it’s always funner to win them,” he said.
Wettstein said he would like to thank the voters of Seward County.
“I’d like to thank them for putting their trust in me to represent them for another four years,” he said. “I hope the job that I do for them will warrant their trust.”
Wettstein also commended Clark on the campaign race.
“He ran a good clean campaign, and I think we can both be proud of the race we ran,” he said.
In his next term, Wettstein said he has several priorities, the biggest of which is keeping kids in school.
“I think if we can keep them in school, then we have a chance of keeping them out of trouble, and we may have a little bit less problem with crime further down the road,” he said.
With a struggling economy, Wettstein said it is likewise important to keep Seward County solvent.
“We’re running onto tough economic times,” he said. “It’s still taking a toll on our banks with the big banks having problems. I think we’re going to have to look at keeping our economy going well and try to keep it where people can still do the things they need to do.”
The challenger was obviously disappointed with Tuesday’s results, but took the defeat well.
“The people spoke, and they seem to be happy with C.J.,” Clark said.
“I’m happy for C.J. He’s a good man, and we’ll just see how the next four years go for him.”
Clark said the margin of victory also seemed to indicate residents in District 1 were satisfied with Wettstein’s performance as commissioner.
“The way I see it, 2 to 1 means the people seem to be pretty happy with the way things are going,” he said. “In that respect, I’m a little disappointed there, but they spoke and it was pretty decisive.”
Clark said he did think there would be more participation in terms of voting in the district, part of which serves Kismet. According to numbers obtained from the Seward County Clerk’s office, 660 voters cast ballots in that race Tuesday.
“I think it’s a little low as far as the voter turnout in our district, but the people spoke,” he said. “We’ll see how the thing goes. I’m happy for C.J. for his re-election. They seem to like what’s going on with him, and I imagine we’ll probably continue to stay the course. We’ll just see how things work out for the next four years.”