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Kiowa County candidates for contested positions share views and goals

Courtney Blankenship
Special to the Signal
Candidates running for contested positions in Kiowa County for the August 4, 2020 primary include (from left) Kendal Lotham - sheriff, David White - county commission, Chris Tedder - sheriff and John Unruh - county commission.

Editor’s Note: 2020 Kiowa County election candidates with contested races were given a change to respond to three questions, all the same. Their responses follow for voter information purposes, courtesy of the Kiowa County Signal.

Kiowa County Commissioner District 3

John W. Unruh

Why did you decide to run for this position?

My main concerns are property taxes and Farm to Market roads. Oil and gas valuations are down dramatically while State assessed Land and Utility valuations continue to rise. The Kiowa County budget process the next couple of years while we dig out from under the Covid 19 virus shutdown is going to be a difficult process.

If you are elected, what goals do you hope to accomplish while in office?

My hope is that we will be able to appropriately fund county services in future years without raising property taxes. A reduction in property taxes has long been a goal that seems difficult to achieve but I have not given up. If elected, taxpayer's interests will be my number one priority.

What do you want voters to know about you as a candidate?

ElVera (Koehn) and I have been married for 52 years and have two children (Kari Kyle-Kiowa County Senior Center Manager) and (Brad-Rogers AR) and two grandsons, Andy and William Kyle. We live in the county in the very southwest corner of Greensburg at 1006 S Cherry Street. I am a conservative and a news/political junkie. Grandkids, farming and our "hobby cow herd" keep us busy.

David White

Why did you decide to run for this position?

I have been part of Kiowa County most of my life. I was born and raised here, and raised my family of three with the help of my wife, Kathy. My daughter and son-in-law also chose Kiowa County to raise their three daughters. Consequently, I am very interested in what happens in Kiowa County.

If you are elected, what goals do you hope to accomplish while in office?

My goal is to listen to the people of my district and address their concerns. I am also willing to listen to new ideas.

What do you want voters to know about you as a candidate?

I have retired from teaching, farming, and ranching and have the time and energy the job requires. My main responsibility would be to the people of district 3 but I would be responsive to all people of Kiowa County.

Brent Ralstin

Why did you decide to run for this position?

I believe I would represent the people in this district well and have been encouraged by several to run.

If you are elected, what goals do you hope to accomplish while in office?

I would look at everything objectively. Listen to all comments and suggestions, and try to make fair and sensible decisions guided by good business practices. Would also do my best to represent the good folks in this district.

What do you want voters to know about you as a candidate?

I have lived in this district all my life. I am willing to learn in order to do this job better. Welcome input and ideas from everyone.

Kiowa County Sheriff:

Kendal Lothman

Why did you decide to run for this position?

I would like to have the opportunity to serve the residents of Kiowa County as their Sheriff.

If you are elected, what goals do you hope to accomplish while in office?

If elected Sheriff, I would provide professional and courteous law enforcement services to the citizens of Kiowa County. I would work to ensure a safe and secure environment for the residents to live and raise their families where they call home. I would strive to provide my staff with training that would help them better serve and communicate with the public.

What do you want voters to know about you as a candidate?

I grew up in Kiowa County and have been a law enforcement officer for 28 years. In that 28 years, I have served many roles to include: Patrol Officer, Deputy, Sergeant, Detective, Lieutenant, Special Agent, Undersheriff and Sheriff. I believe the diversity of my experience provides me with a well-rounded knowledge to serve as your Sheriff.

Chris Tedder

Why did you decide to run for this position?

I am the current Sheriff of Kiowa County and have decided to run for re-election to continue the good work my Sheriff Office has done over the last six years.

If you are elected, what goals do you hope to accomplish while in office?

If I am re-elected, I wish to continue to build relationships with the communities and schools.

What do you want voters to know about you as a candidate?

I am a passionate, honest and caring Sheriff and I hold myself and my employees to the highest of standards. We do make mistakes, everyone is human, but we have learned from them and continued with our work to serve and protect the Citizens of Kiowa County and the State of Kansas. The Sheriff Office that I have built during my tenure is full of people who are just as passionate about protecting the citizens and solving crime as I am. If re-elected, I, and my employees, will strive to continue to grow and serve our community. As a leader of the Sheriff office, I have never raised my budget, and have been well under the budget allowed every year.