Archive for Sunday, June 5, 1994


June 5, 1994


Primary races are anticipated for rank-and-file positions in local Republican and Democratic organizations.

Douglas County Republican Chris Miller remembers well what happened in 1992.

With about 15 minutes to go before the filing deadline for primary election candidates, local social conservative Republicans pulled a big surprise.

They brought in a list of candidates to the Douglas County Clerk's office to fill the county's 102 GOP precinct slots.

The result: Social conservatives, many of whom were concerned the party would abandon its pro-life stand on the abortion issue, easily took over the county's GOP apparatus, much to the chagrin of more moderate Republicans and longtime party activists.

"I assume they will do that again," Miller said earlier this week.

As of Friday, there were still plenty of open Republican precinct seats, said Douglas County Clerk Patty Jaimes.

Only 19 of the 51 GOP committeewomen positions and 17 of the 51 GOP committeeman seats had candidates as of Friday afternoon.

So far, there is one primary race for a GOP precinct committee race: Milton Lee Norwood and Wesley E. Glenn are running for the committeeman post in the Big Springs precinct. Glenn has also filed to run for the Kansas House 45th District seat.

Like Miller, Jaimes predicted that an organized group may bring in a slate of candidates right before Friday's noon deadline.

"It's a possibility that it might happen again with this many openings," she said.

Miller said members of the Teddy Roosevelt Reform Republican Club, a relatively new social conservative group within the local GOP, have been recruiting precinct candidates.

He said the group met May 3 to sign up precinct people, but hasn't turned in any of those names. Some of the same members of that group were responsible for recruiting conservative Republicans in 1992, he said.

"In 1992, when they filed all those new people, they filed them at a quarter till noon on the filing deadline," Miller said. "I assume they will do that again."

John Kincaid, president of that GOP club, could not be reached Saturday for comment.

Meanwhile, Miller said that traditionally, many people don't file for the precinct posts until the last few days.

"I'm sure there will be some contested precinct races," he said. "It's the democratic process at work."

On the Democratic Party side, 16 candidates have filed for the 51 precinct committeewoman posts and 19 have filed for the 51 precinct committeeman posts.

Of those, there is one contested post: Jamie Beletz and Calvin J. Karlin are both seeking the committeeman position for the western Lawrence 12th Precinct of the 2nd Ward, which votes at the Mustard Seed Christian Fellowship Church, 700 Wakarusa Dr.

Louise Silber, who chairs the county's Democratic Party organization, said Democrats were filling the precinct spots daily.

"We hope to have a full central committee filed by next Friday," she said.

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