Democrats have selected their nominees for a special election that will add two members to the Leavenworth County Commission.

Democrats have selected their nominees for a special election that will add two members to the Leavenworth County Commission.

During a special convention that took place Thursday in Basehor, Democratic precinct committee men and women selected their party’s candidates for the new 4th and 5th Districts of the County Commission.

Troy Smith, Leavenworth, was selected as the Democratic candidate for the 4th District, and Stuart Sweeney, rural Linwood, was chosen as the party’s candidate for the 5th District, according to Sherri Grogan, chairwoman of the Leavenworth County Democratic Party.

In November, voters approved the expansion of the County Commission from three members to five.

Voters in the new 4th and 5th Districts will go to the polls March 26 to elect their representatives on the commission.

Under state law, Democratic and Republican nominees for the special election are selected through party conventions.

Local Republican officials plan to have a convention Jan. 17 in Lansing to select their party’s nominee for the 4th District. Republicans plan to have a second convention Jan. 19 in rural Linwood to pick their party’s nominee for the 5th District, according to Rett Rogers, chairman of the Leavenworth County Republican Party.

The 4th District comprises the city of Lansing, Delaware Township and a section of southeast Leavenworth. The 5th District comprises Tonganoxie, Reno and Sherman townships as well as the cities of Tonganoxie and Linwood.

Smith is a Navy veteran and real estate agent. This will be his first political campaign.

Sweeney ran last year as a candidate for the 38th District of the Kansas House of Representatives. He lost to incumbent state Rep. Willie Dove.

“I do think we have good candidates,” Grogan said of the Democratic nominees.

People wanting to run in the March 26 special election as independents have to collect the signatures of at least 5 percent of the registered voters from their districts.

David Frese of Tonganoxie already has submitted a sufficient number of signatures to appear on the ballot in the special election as an independent candidate for the 5th District, according to County Clerk Janet Klasinski.

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