Dickinson County Clerk and Election Officer Barbara Jones will retire Nov. 30 after serving more than 44 years in the clerk’s office.
Jones announced her retirement last week.
“I’ve really enjoyed working and seeing all the people that come into the courthouse for different things and working with all the people in the different offices,” Jones said.
Jones’ successor will be chosen by the 35 elected Dickinson County Republican Party precinct committeemen and committeewomen during a convention scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 27 at the National Greyhound Hall of Fame Museum, located at 407 S Buckeye Ave., Abilene.
The convention process is dictated by Kansas state statute.
“It speaks to the importance of serving as a precinct committeeman or woman, regardless of your political party,” explained Julie Roller-Weeks, Dickinson County Republican Party vice chair. “If there’s a vacancy in your party affiliation at the county or legislative level it’s the party that elects who is going to serve in that role.”
Although not technically a public meeting, the public may attend the convention. The voters will sit in a different area from the public, Roller-Weeks said.
The only qualification to serve as Dickinson County clerk is to be a Republican since retiring clerk Jones is a member of the Republican Party.
The county clerk acts as secretary for the board of county commissioners, oversees all elections, checks all budgets for legal limits and sets levies for all taxing authorities in the county. Information about the position is available at http://www.dkcoks.org/57/County-ClerkElections.
Prior service is not necessary.
“County clerk is a very important job,” Roller-Weeks said, “but it’s possible to learn without prior service. There’s a great network of support around the state. There’s resources available.
“If you’ve ever been interested in running for public office this is a good time to do it where you’re campaigning to 35 people verses the entire county,” she added.
The individual elected Oct. 27 will have to run for re-election in 2022. Roller-Weeks said that was due to the timing of Jones’ resignation. Jones was reelected as county clerk in November 2020.
At the convention
During the convention, interested candidates will be nominated. Those individuals then will have a few minutes to speak about their qualifications.
“Some people may choose to contact all the precinct committee men and women ahead of time to introduce themselves to the voters,” Roller-Weeks said.
Ballots will then be distributed to the voters and they will cast their ballots.
“It’s pretty cut and dried,” Roller-Weeks said.
The most recent Dickinson County convention to select a new county elected official was in September 2019 when Marty Holt was elected register of deeds.
Anyone interested in running for the clerk’s job is encouraged to contact John Nachtman, Dickinson County Republican Party Chair at 785-263-4525.