Incumbent faces challenger in primary

John Richmeier
Curtis Oroke and Mike Stieben

The representative for the Leavenworth County Commission’s 5th District is facing a challenger in the Republican primary.

And with no Democrat in the race, the Republican primary likely will decide who will represent the district for the next term.

Incumbent Mike Stieben will face Curtis Oroke in Tuesday’s primary. Advance voting already has started.

The 5th District encompasses the cities of Tonganoxie and Linwood and Tonganoxie, Reno and Sherman townships.

This is the second 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 by the Leavenworth Times.

Curtis Oroke

Age: 50

Political experience: I have been actively involved in my community and have a clear understanding of how government operates. I served on the Tonganoxie City Council, 2015-2019.

Mike Stieben

Age 52

Political experience: Served as chairman of Rural Water District No. 13, Sherman Township clerk, precinct committeeman, Board of Trustees for Genesis Christian School, trustee for Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers Division No. 75, alternate legislative director for Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers Division No. 75, member of the Republican Second District Committee, member of the Republican State Committee


Why are you running for the Leavenworth County Commission?

Oroke: Owning my own construction company, I have significant business knowledge and feel like we need more effective representation for my district as well as the entire county.

Stieben: I am running to support the goal of making government work for the people of Leavenworth County. Making government a partner in bringing positive economic development and high paying jobs to our community. Streamlining the process of property transfers and the development of a new comprehensive land use plan will be top priorities.


What are the most important issues facing the county government?

Oroke: Securing more businesses to share the tax burden of the county and provide more jobs for our residents. Homeowners need relief from increased property taxes.

Stieben: 1. Property tax relief – reducing the mill levy to provide relief to taxpayers. 2. Economic development – creating an environment that attracts small businesses and new industry without changing the culture of southern Leavenworth County. 3. Transparency and efficiency – restoring professionalism and openness in our county government.


Why are you the most qualified candidate for the position?

Oroke: I’m a logical thinker and know how to evaluate information that is critical for effective leadership, communication, understanding budgets and understanding how to control spending. I’m well versed on the laws that regulate county government.

Stieben: I have served on the Board of County Commissioners since being elected to fill the newly created 5th District seat. This experience has allowed me to learn about many issues and concerns of the citizens as they related to county government.