Primary to decide commission race

John Richmeier
Tom Dials and Mike Smith

With no Democrats in the race, the Republican primary likely will determine the next commissioner for the County Commission’s 4th District.

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

Two candidates, Tom Dials and Mike Smith, are seeking the Republican nomination for the County Commission seat.

A third person, Steve Rotkoff, filed as a Republican candidate but has dropped out of the race. His name will still appear on the ballot for the primary election.

The 4th District is currently represented by Chad Schimke, who is not seeking reelection.

The primary election is one week away, Aug. 4. Advance voting already has started.

This is the first in a series of profiles of candidates who are running in contested primaries in Leavenworth County. The series features responses to questions that were submitted to the Leavenworth Times.

Thomas A. ‘Tom’ Dials

Age: If elected, I will be 72 when sworn into office.

Political experience: Limited – appointed treasurer of Delaware Township, March 2019 to present

Michael W Smith

Age: 65

Political experience: City of Lansing mayor from January 2017 through January 2021

1. Why are you running for the Leavenworth County Commission?

Dials: My experience as CEO of a major business and extensive service with nonprofits in the area give me a unique perspective: a realistic vision and a solid grasp of the issues. I can and want to contribute.

Smith: 1. First and foremost, to give the citizens of Leavenworth County a voice in decisions made in their county. 2. To bring in commercial and residential growth to the county.

2. What are the most important issues facing the county government?

Dials: Complete the comprehensive plan and coordinate it with the cities and townships; deliver a fully coordinated and resourced implementation plan to move Leavenworth County forward.

Smith: 1. How to handle and deal with COVID-19. 2. Lowering property taxes. 3. Gaining better working relationships with the cities within Leavenworth County.

3. Why are you the most qualified candidate for the position?

Dials: I am a trained and experienced strategic planner, project manager and business leader – a team builder and problem solver. I will have a great deal to learn about the process of local government but will bring fresh perspectives to the position.

Smith: In the 40 years I have worked for the city of Lansing, with my experience, I know it will help in working with the other county commissioners to lead Leavenworth County into a new and prosperous future.