Douglas County treasurer to retire with about a year left in her term

photo by: Lawrence Journal-World file photo

Paula Gilchrist

Updated at 4:47 p.m. Thursday

A longtime county leader will step down from her post at the end of the month.

Douglas County Treasurer Paula Gilchrist, who was elected to a fourth term in 2016, has informed the County Clerk’s Office that she intends to retire on Monday. She has held the position since 2005.

Gilchrist, 69, said in an email Thursday that she chose to retire early to spend time with family.

“I was trying to hold out for my 70th birthday later this year, but with the election of the new County Treasurer being largely determined by the primary, I decided to bail early and spend time with my family,” she wrote.

County Clerk Jamie Shew said that Gilchrist filed paperwork with his office announcing her retirement, which means she is leaving the post with about a year left in her term. Unlike other county positions, which have terms beginning in January, the current treasurer’s term concludes in October 2021.

“The treasurer, for whatever reason in Kansas law, extends into next year,” Shew said.

Once Gilchrist’s retirement is official, Deputy Treasurer Adam Rains will take her place as the acting treasurer until someone is selected to finish out her term.

In a similar fashion to how Sheriff Randy Roberts was appointed in July to finish retired Sheriff Ken McGovern’s term, Shew said the Douglas County Democratic Party was expected to nominate someone to finish Gilchrist’s term. The party’s nomination will be sent to Gov. Laura Kelly, who makes the formal appointment.

Douglas County’s Democratic Party chair, Curtis Hall, said the party will meet in the next few weeks to nominate a successor. He said the date of the meeting will be decided after the party receives official notification from the governor.

While the party will select a new leader for the term, county voters have already selected whom they want to take over the position in the future. Rains, whom Gilchrist appointed to the deputy position about five years ago, is the presumed treasurer-elect. He won the Democratic primary for the position earlier this month and is uncontested in the November general election.

When Rains filed to run for the position in March, Gilchrist told the Journal-World she planned to retire sometime this year.

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