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My Two Cents of Common Sense
"Northwest Kansas holds some truly inspiring scenery, contains a wealth of Old West history, possesses some of the finest educational institutions, promotes an entrepreneurial spirit, and is home to some of the most hard-working, genuine people I've ever met!"    ~ Adam Smith
1970 RD 3 Weskan, KS 67762
785-821-2568 (Cell)
300 SW 10th St, Suite 512N Topeka, KS  66612
785-296-0715 (Office)
First and Foremost, Thank You!

With the completion of the regular session, it has been a pleasure to return home and begin taking care of things on the farm! From the tractor to the tiller (and the trampoline for the kids!), it has been great to get back to the real world outside the Capitol.

It has been my humble honor to serve as your State Representative the past two years!

Thank you for the opportunity to represent northwest Kansas and advocate for our causes. My job doesn't end at the sound of the adjournment gavel, however. While the focus is on legislation during the session, many aspects of my duties happen when I'm "off-the-clock". While some legislators may only think their job is to "punch in" and vote when the during the session, I believe the job entails much, much more.

Unfortunately, many citizens don't realize your legislators are a RESOURCE to be utilized if you are having problems with state or even federal departments!

I don't give people my Capitol office phone number... I give them my personal cell phone number and I encourage people to contact me if they need help!

I have contacts within each agency and department to better assist you when something isn't working quite right - from Medicaid and Social Security to business filings and property valuation and everywhere in between. I have assisted a constituent in need of an expedited passport due to a family emergency overseas, responded to another Kansan that needed help with his voter registration information one night at 11:30 p.m., accelerated a local right-of-way permit from KDOT for a new home, and more.

THIS is the part of being a legislator I enjoy most - helping others!

It is because of this that I have filed for reelection to serve another term in the Kansas House of Representatives. I would appreciate your support in the primary election on August 7th and the general election November 6th! While I was honored to be elected to my first term, I do not take your vote for granted and I certainly do not believe I am entitled to this position. I want to earn your vote again in 2018!

Important elected position often overlooked

With many statewide elected offices coming up this election year, including governor, one of the most important races this primary election may not even have a name on the ballot!

Have you ever wondered what happens when a locally elected county or state official is unable to complete their term in office due to retirement, illness or death, relocating, or other reasons? It doesn't happen frequently, but it is also not rare. In the last 10 years, there have been over ten vacancies in northwest Kansas that required a replacement to complete the term. Bryan Caskey with the Secretary of State's office informed me that there are about a dozen replacements statewide on any given year.
But who selects these replacements and how?
If you can't answer that question, you may want to keep reading this article.
While cities and schools have the ability to make replacements from within their existing governing boards, counties are considered a subdivision of the state and therefore follow the same replacement policies as the legislature.
Special elections are costly and time consuming, and generally cannot be conducted quickly. The governor could appoint a replacement, but when was the last time the governor was in your town rubbing elbows – let alone spent enough time in your community getting to know everyone well enough to make a wise and proper choice of who would be a good replacement?
Since a special election is not feasible, and we don't want high-ranking state officials telling us who is in charge, Kansas has designed a different way. It is a grassroots method that starts with YOU!
Within each county in Kansas are small voter subdivisions called precincts. Your county clerk's office should have a map of your specific precinct boundaries. Each precinct may elect one male and one female to serve, and these members together make up the county precinct committee for their respective political party. Upon a vacancy in office, it is these members that elect a replacement nominee through a very specific process. Technically, the governor IS the one that makes the official appointment, but it is based solely on the nomination of the precinct committee.

This is the process for making replacements at the countywide level and also for the state legislature. Legislative vacancies, while not common, also occur. We have had several in northwest Kansas. In 2010, Representative Jim Morrison (R - Colby) passed away following the general election and Rick Billinger (R - Goodland) was appointed to serve that term. Prior to that, Stan Clark (R - Oakley) had passed away in late May 2004 and his wife Ruth was appointed to fill the remainder of his term. Stan had also been appointed originally into the House of Representatives in 1994 to fill a vacancy left by Shelia Frahm (R - Colby) when she became Lt. Governor.

If a vacancy occurs in a legislative office that spans several counties, all of the precinct members that reside within that certain legislative district will hold a meeting and elect a nominee to serve the remainder of the term. This is also an important reason to have all of your local county precinct positions filled. Each precinct committee member is allowed to vote on a legislative replacement, and less members equals less votes and less representation from your county. A county precinct committee chair has the authority to appoint qualified residents to fill empty precinct positions, but that authority ends once a vacancy occurs. Otherwise a crafty committee chair could simply stack the committee to elect a predetermined candidate!
If you would like to know more, there is detailed information in Chapter 25 Article 39 of the Kansas Statute books, or you can contact your county clerk. I would also be happy to visit with you! I have served on our precinct committee for over ten years, as well as on the 1st congressional district and state committees.
What are some of the duties and responsibilities of precinct members?

Unfortunately, not much is typically understood about the precinct committee and subsequently many positions have no one on the ballot! Each county committee can develop their own objectives, but the main responsibility is nominating replacements. The Kansas Republican Party bylaws also designate county precinct committees as responsible for conducting the Presidential primary caucus on years where one may exist. I am not familiar with other political parties and their designated committee responsibilities, but you could reach out to your state party director to find out more.
Some active committees hold meetings every month, while some may only have one meeting a year. While your county precinct committee may not require a lot of time, it is a critically important position that holds a great deal of responsibility. If you want to have a say in who serves your area in such emergency situations, please consider taking an active role as a precinct committee member!
So how do you become a precinct committee person?

It is an elected position on the August 7th primary ballot. The filing deadline is noon on June 1st. (That's coming up soon!) The only qualification is that you are a properly registered voter affiliated with the party you seek to represent.

Each term lasts two years, and unlike most other elected offices, there is no filing fee! Since it is a partisan position for a spot on your party's county committee only, the primary election is the final election... there is no competition between parties in a general election because each party has their own committee. To see who currently holds the position, if anyone, in your precinct, please contact your county clerk's office.
If you are interested in becoming active in local politics and are looking for a great place to make a difference, becoming a county precinct committee person is a perfect place to start!

Ready to take the leap? Download the Candidate's Declaration of Intent form, fill it out, and deliver it to your county clerk's office before noon on June 1st!

Even if you are NOT interested in becoming a precinct committee member, I would encourage you to find out who does serve on your local county committee. These are the people who will be making the decisions for your community should there ever be a vacancy in locally elected offices. I would also encourage you to find out who serves as the precinct committee chair, as they will be able to answer any further specific questions you may have about your local committee.

If you are Republican, the state party has a website listing all the county committee officers. I am not aware of a similar resource for any other party, but again your county clerk should have that information if your county has organized a precinct committee.
You can view a full list of the 2018 Election Information produced by the Kansas Secretary of State's Office.

It PAYS to double-check your voter registration information to avoid hassles at the polling place! Check your voter registration securely online at

For a list of local offices and positions on your ballot, contact your county clerk's office.
I strive to create and maintain constituent relationships through good communication. Two-way communication is essential to my effectiveness as a legislator in promoting successful solutions for Northwest Kansas! Please consider subscribing to my contact list or send me an email and I will add you.
Copyright © 2018 Smith For Kansas, All rights reserved.

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