Archive for Tuesday, February 24, 2009

As lawmaker is deployed to Iraq, her former opponent will fill her House seat

February 24, 2009


A newly elected state lawmaker from Leavenworth who has been called to active duty in Iraq will be replaced in the Kansas Legislature by her former opponent.

Democratic precinct officials in Leavenworth County voted 5-1 last night to replace state Rep. Melanie Meier, D-Leavenworth, with Don Navinsky, a former Leavenworth County commissioner.

Meier defeated Navinsky in the Democratic Party primary last August.

Meier, who is a lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserve, had wanted former state Rep. Candy Ruff to take her place until she returned in January 2010.

Ruff criticized the five precinct officials who voted for Navinsky against Meier’s wishes, saying Navinsky was planning to challenge Meier again when she returned. “This is no way to treat this brave Army officer as she puts her life on the line for her country,” Ruff said.

Navinsky said he would step aside when Meier returns but refused to promise that he would not run against Meier in the 2010 primary.


Keith 9 years, 4 months ago

Who had the right to choose her replacement and did they exercise that right? If so, the rest is sour grapes, boo hoo, I didn't get picked. Politics ain't beanbag.

KansasVoter 9 years, 4 months ago

I don't think that this is sour grapes. It sounds more like dirty pool to me. If Navinsky had any integrity he would promise not to run in 2010.

appleaday 9 years, 4 months ago

Politics ain't beanbag -- it's good old boy.

keep_it_real 9 years, 4 months ago

As one of the 5 decision makers, I came into the meeting last night with an open mind as to who to select as the best representative for our 40th District interests. I wholly respect Ms. Meier's call to duty in the capacity of a soldier in a war zone, and wish for her safety and well-being while deployed.
I had read Ms. Meier's mailings to me, had listened to Ms. Ruff's voice mail and read her letter, and took a phone call from Don Navinsky in which he spoke of his previous political experience and desire to serve in this position as our representative from the 40th District. Both candidates have a long history of public service, albiet in different capacities. I considered all the information. I had been out of town most of the last three weeks, so was unaware of any previous press regarding the process of selecting Ms. Meier's replacement. Quite frankly, I selected Mr. Navinsky only after Ms. Ruff's speech and responses during the meeting seemed primarily focused on attacking Mr. Navinsky's character. I wondered why the attack was so virulent, and I was stunned by it. I read Ms. Ruff's article in this on-line paper today, and note that it closed with "these five people have a lot to answer for." I stand by my decision. I could not in good conscience follow Ms. Meier's endorsement, no matter how much I wanted to do just that when I entered the meeting with an open mind ready to consider the additional facts to be presented by the candidates before making the final decision. It was Ms. Ruff's attacks on Mr. Navinsky that changed my mind in the course of the hour long meeting. Simple as that.

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