Ellinwood councilman will replace commissioner who died in plane crash

Great Bend Post

GREAT BEND — The convention of Fourth District Barton County Commission delegates have elected Ellinwood City Councilman Ken Lebbin to serve out the remaining term of Don Cates on the Barton County Commission. Cates, who was elected to the position in 2010, died in a plane crash in Pawnee County on April 22.

Barton County

Ten of the 11 eligible Republican delegates in the Fourth District cast secret ballots Monday night at the convention, held at the Barton County Courthouse. Four individuals were nominated for Cates position and Lebbin had the most votes with 6.

Others nominated included former Barton County Commissioner Kirby Krier, along with Karen Sessler and Alicia Straub.

Dick Friedeman, who was elected Monday night as the permanent chairman of the Barton County Republican Committee, will now submit Lebbin’s name to Gov. Sam Brownback who has seven days to act. If he does nothing, the decision of the convention stands. Friedeman said he is confident Lebbin will be sworn in at next Monday’s commission meeting.

Lebbin, who has served on and off the Ellinwood City Council for 21 years, will join the commission at a key time as work on the 2015 budget will begin soon.  He feels that his past experience in city government will help him in his new assignment.

Lebbin plans to resign his position on the Ellinwood City Council on Tuesday.