The race for the new 5th District of the Leavenworth County Commission is taking shape after local Republicans selected their party’s candidate.

The race for the new 5th District of the Leavenworth County Commission is taking shape after local Republicans selected their party’s candidate.

Mike Stieben, Tonganoxie, was chosen as the Republican nominee Saturday morning during a special party convention.

“I am extremely grateful for the support of Republican Party leaders as I begin to campaign to represent the citizens of southern Leavenworth County,” Stieben said in a news release. “I look forward to establishing fiscal responsibility, protecting conservative values, and creating an environment that attracts new business and industry.”

Stieben is a locomotive engineer for BNSF Railway.

In November, voters approved the expansion of the Leavenworth County Commission from three members to five. Current commissioners have drawn new district boundaries in preparation of the expansion. Voters in the new 4th and 5th Districts will go to the polls March 26 to elect their representatives on the commission.

The 5th District comprises Tonganoxie, Reno and Sherman townships as well as the cities of Tonganoxie and Linwood.

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

Stieben was selected as his party’s nominee by Republican precinct committee men and women from the new 5th District.

Local Democrats selected Stuart Sweeney, rural Linwood, as their party’s nominee for the 5th District during a convention that took place Jan. 10.

David Frese, Tonganoxie, also has filed as an independent candidate for the 5th District.

Democrats and Republicans also have selected their nominees in the race for the new 4th District.

The 4th District comprises the city of Lansing, Delaware Township and a section of southeast Leavenworth.

Troy Smith, Leavenworth, was chosen as the Democratic nominee for the 4th District on Jan. 10.

Chad Schimke, Delaware Township, was selected as the Republican nominee for the 4th District on Thursday.

Hank Spellman, Lansing, has filed as an independent candidate for the 4th District.

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.

Independents have until Jan. 28 to file by petition, according to County Clerk Janet Klasinski.

Twitter: @LVTNewsJohnR