Incumbent Gail Klaassen

Tribune reporter Greg Lower is writing previews for candidates facing off in Tuesday’s primary election.

A three-way race in Tuesday’s primary will decide the 3rd District Commission seat for Neosho County.

No Democrats have filed for the general election in November, so the seat will be decided among 1,843 registered Republicans out of 3,960 total registered voters in the district.

Incumbent Gail Klaassen is seeking election to a full term against challengers Mark Ping and Eddie Rosenberger for the district seat.

Klaassen was nominated by Republican precinct captains in the district and appointed by Gov. Laura Kelly in 2019 to fill the uncompleted term of David Bideau. Bideau resigned after 1st District opponents to the Neosho Ridge wind project said his law practice clients were a conflict of interest.

Klaassen said the wind project was the most controversial issue of her term, but it is under construction and she would like to oversee it until it is finished.

“I signed the agreements and I’d like to see it through to completion,” she said.

Klaassen said she wants to see the county moratorium on wind power expansion extended because the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has delayed an advisory committee. She said it may not be able to complete its work by the September moratorium expiration to guide the commission on whether to regulate others that may come in.

She also said she wants to see how the current and next year’s budgets play out.

She is happy with the commission’s relationships with department heads and thinks the county is running more smoothly. She said relations are better between the commission and staff, and that the county and city of Chanute are starting to build relations.

The intersection of 21st Street and Plummer at the southwest edge of Chanute is a hot topic and Klaassen has called for joint meetings after the budgets are finished. The intersection is under the impact from Orizon Aerostructures expansion and school reopening, but no action has been taken thus far.

“Nothing’s been changed,” Klaassen said.


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