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Archive for Wednesday, July 24, 1996

COUNTY CANDIDATES SHARE SIMILAR HISTORY

July 24, 1996

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In the 2nd District, voters have a choice between two GOP candidates for Douglas County Commission.

Dairy farmer Glen Grosdidier expects to carry his hometown of Eudora in the 2nd District race for Douglas County Commission.

Likewise, Baldwin veterinarian Tom Taul can anticipate strong support in his back yard.

The key to this Aug. 6 primary showdown will be voters in Lawrence.

"This district is so big," Taul said. "I can carry all the rural areas and still lose the election."

The district covers North Lawrence, portions of East Lawrence and the eastern half of the county.

If not for the campaign, Grosdidier and Taul would stand on the same side of the fence. Both grew up in Douglas County. Each is a Kansas State University graduate. They make their living from agriculture. Both are Republicans.

"I don't really know that there's that much difference between the two of us," Grosdidier said.

The winner takes on Lawrence attorney Jim Jesse, the lone Democrat in the race. The victor will replace Democrat Jim Chappell, who declined to seek re-election.

Taul, 48, was born in Douglas County and earned two degrees from Kansas State University. He ran Baldwin Junction Veterinary Clinic for 10 years, co-owned Overbrook Livestock Commission for five years and has mingled livestock marketing and veterinary work since 1991.

He's been on the county's Board of Zoning Appeals for 20 years.

Taul entered the race because he felt it was time to connect his ideas of cost-effective, unified government with public service on the commission.

"I've been a property owner and taxpayer," he said. "For years, people have urged me to run. They, like most people, are concerned about taxes paid and services received. I will be working for them."

Grosdidier, 35, has been Eudora Township treasurer for seven years. Until filing for the commission seat, he was president of the Douglas County Farm Bureau.

He and his father, Cletus, operate a Grade A dairy farm about five miles south of Eudora.

"There's a lot of taxpayers out there who want to know where their money is going," Grosdidier said.

One issue that interests voters is residential and business development in the county.

"I do think it needs to be controlled," Taul said, "but the rights of property owners need to be strongly considered."

Grosdidier said growth would add to demand for roads, bridges, water and law enforcement. Access to water has drawn much of the attention lately.

"Water shouldn't be the controlling factor out there," Grosdidier said.

Grosdidier and Taul said their philosophy was to listen to the concerns of constituents and seek compromise.

Taul strives to treat others as he wants to be treated.

"I'm can make hard choices, but I try to work with people," Grosdidier said.

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