BY JADEN MOUNT
Tiger Media Network
On Aug. 7, registered Republican voters in the First District of Ellis County will cast their ballots for one of two candidates. Incumbent Commissioner Marcy McClelland will face former Ellis County Health Administrator Robert “Butch” Schlyer in the Republican primary race.
Schlyer served as the department head four months short of 23 years prior to retiring. He is a lifelong resident of Ellis County, beginning with his great-great-grandfather in 1869. He is a nursing graduate of Fort Hays State University and his wife also is an FHSU nursing graduate — as well as his daughter.
“We know the community very well,” Schlyer said in his interview on KFHS Online Radio’s The Sandbox. “We know the feel of the community, we know many of the residents, and thought it was just time to run for county commissioner.”
A common practice among party politics is the party will only put forth the incumbent rather than endure a primary race. Schlyer says what separates them is not the party ideals, but their individual personalities and experiences.
“Being that I was already in a leadership position of the county for 23 years and I’ve served on the management team for those years, I’m familiar with all the departments … all the department heads, with one exception, and I know the county employees,” he said. “I know the issues that affect the county. And I’ve just had a lot more experience within the county as opposed to Marcy.”
According to Schlyer, there was uncertainty if McClelland would run for a second term. McClelland did file for the position “at the very last hour, on the very last day.”
As the election draws closer, many have speculated what it will take for candidates to reach out and relate to younger voters. Most of those born in the year 2000 are eligible to vote in the upcoming elections. The 18- to 29-year-old voting population has the lowest turnout in the country, so there will be challenges for candidates to reach the youngest voter segment.
“You know, I’m just gonna put myself out there. My experience, my longevity in the county, it all speaks for itself,” Schlyer said. ”And, we’ll try to promote myself the best we can given the technology I’m aware of and can do and we’ll just see how that plays out.”
Schlyer stated the biggest issue facing Ellis County at the current time is revenue, and he said it is a problem he can address as a county commissioner..
If you are a registered voter in the Republican Party and live in the First District of Ellis County, you will be able to cast your vote for either Schlyer or McClelland at the Aug. 7 primary. For more information on voting in your area, contact your local Kansas Department of the Treasurer Office.