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Wednesday
November 20th, 2019

city of liberal logoELLY GRIMM • Leader & Times

 

Some new faces will be joining some of the local boards in the Liberal community after Tuesday night’s election. 

A total of 1,775 voters cast ballots In Tuesday’s general election (out of 10,131 registered voters in Seward County) for elections for the Liberal City Commission, the USD 480 school board, the USD 483 school board, the Seward County Community College Board of Trustees, and the Kismet City Council. 

With the Liberal City Commission race, Ron Warren (893), Chris Linenbroker (608) and Tony Martinez (574) were the top vote-getters, followed by Jimmy Dean Holman (572), Roberto Sanchez Jr. (354), Cynthia Martin (316), Tony Ray Whisenant (289), and Jack Carlile (223). The top two vote getters will receive 4-year terms while the 3rd place vote getter will get a 2-year term. The canvas will take place Monday before the official results are announced. 

“I actually couldn’t believe it when I started hearing everything come in last night, it’s really just starting to sink in,” Linenbroker said. “Then when everything really started coming in and my name was near the top I actually asked ‘Are you sure that’s MY name?’ It was really amazing and I want to thank everyone for voting for me. I was actually out at the activity center with everyone watching everything come in, I was pretty anxious to see how everything would turn out and then before I knew it I was getting congratulations from everyone.”

“I’m happy with how it all turned out, I really wanted to return to the commission because there are a lot of things that still need to be done throughout the city,” Martinez said. “We’ve got water lines that need replaced, the wastewater treatment plant is still being worked on, and we’ve got to get that economic development worked out. I was actually at the Saints volleyball match when everything was being announced, and later on I was checking on Facebook for results and saw it was all really close. I’m relieved yet still anxious to see how the official results turn out, I know the canvas will be taking place later this week, so we’ll see how that turns out. I want to thank everyone for voting.”

“I’m happy with how this time around turned out, the past couple times I’ve run have seen me end up in either third or fourth place,” Warren said. “So it’s easier to know that’s how it all ended up.”

All three also said there was a lot going through their minds upon seeing the results come in and seeing their names near the top.

“At first I was absolutely shocked seeing my name there and then eventually I saw it was staying there and I saw how many votes I got,” Linenbroker said. “There were a few people asking me ‘Are you happy with all this?’ because I was looking so stunned about it all. I was ready but not ready at the same time for it all. I’d run for the commission before and didn’t get elected and I was really just hoping to do better than that last time, and I did.”

“I was having dinner at Ruffino’s with the mayor and vice mayor when all the results started coming in and there was someone listening to the video online talking about all the different results,” Warren said. “I was surprised with how it all turned out, these things always surpise everyone because you truly never know how everything will work out. I hoped I would have a chance at one of the spots, and that’s what happened, so I was happy.”

All three also said they are ready to start their respective terms.

“I’m really excited to get in there and get started and learn about what the city’s doing and all of that,” Linenbroker said. “I want to help make sure everything stays on track and be sure to listen to the citizens about what they want. With my first meeting, I’ll probably be a bundle of nerves since I’m not really in front of a lot of people all that often, so that will definitely take some getting used to. But I’m excited and ready to go and ready to do my best for the community.”

“I’m ready to get started again and get the rec center up and going officially along with some of the other projects going on, particularly with economic development,” Warren said. “We have a great opportunity to get those things done and working with the county and other entities to get some of that started so we can figure out how to do more. I know everyone else is also really excited to get going, it’s great seeing that enthusiasm. Then with the 1-cent sales tax, we need to get that renewed because it means so much to our community and does so much for us, we need it so we can keep being a great community. Sports tourism is also another big thing going on, we recently hired that director and he’ll do a great job. We’ve definitely got plenty to work on.”

All three also offered encouragement for continued voting in the Liberal community, whether for local elections or the upcoming 2020 federal elections. 

“If you look at the results that have been published so far, every vote makes a difference around here,” Linenbroker said. “It just shows you how every vote counts and every vote is a big deal, especially for a local election. So if people want to be heard, they should get to the polls. I’d like to thank the community for voting for me and I can’t wait for my first meeting.”

“I couldn’t say what it would take to get more people involved, I wish we had a bigger turnout,” Martinez said. “But voting is the best way to get your voice heard, so be sure and use that right. I do want to thank everyone who did come out and voted, I’m going to keep working hard to make Liberal a great place to live if I do officially get back on the commission.”

“If you want your opinion to count, you have to go vote,” Warren said. “I can tell by looking at the results already released there’s some definite competition for a few of those spots, and they’re going to be decided by provisional votes, so every vote definitely counts. We need people to get out and vote and get their voices heard. And we also need to be encouraging people to get out there and run for office.”

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