Shawnee County has been without a permenant sheriff for almost two weeks.
Herman Jones resigned the position to take over control of the Kansas Highway Patrol.
On Saturday, a new sherriff will be picked to replace him. But not everyone will get a say. Before a new sheriff takes over the Shawnee County Sheriff’s Department, they’ll have to get the support of a small group of Shawnee County voters.
Shawnee County Republican precient committeemen and women will meet to pick a new sheriff Saturday.
“Sheriff Jones was a registered Republican,” said Kim Borchers, vice chairwoman for the Shawnee County Republican Party. “And so, it will be Republicans who replace him in that role.”
There are 260 people that will make the decision. Those people are elected by their fellow Republicans in their neighborhoods.
“When these types of situations occur, it’s an opportunity to represent your party, represent your precinct, and make sure your voice for your party is heard,” said Andrew Howell, Election Commissioner for the Shawnee County Election Office.
Kansas law requires that the committee make a nomination.
“The actual election is done by the Republican precinct people,” Howell said. “But technically the appointment, then, is made by the governor, and the governor makes the appointment.”
After the next sheriff is nominated and appointed, they’ll serve out the rest of Herman Jones’s term.
“This individual will only fill this vacancy until the next election cycle,” Borchers said.
But that is still nearly two years away, so Rpublican leaders say they’re taking the decision seriously.
“We need to make sure that the individual that’s in this role has the skill set and the competency to be an effective sheriff,” Borchers said.
While not everyone can vote, the convention is open to anyone. It will get started at 10 a.m., Saturday morning, at Highland Park High School.
People who want to become sheriff also have to be nominated by a member of the committee. They also have to be a Republican, and live in Shawnee County.
Republican leaders say there are four people who have expressed interest in the sheriff’s position.
Assistant director of the KBI Tony Weingartner said he is running for the open position. KBI special agent Doug Younger has also expressed interest. Retired Topeka Police Detective Brian Hill posted on Facebook that he’s seeking the office.
Another possible candidate is retired Shawnee County District Court Administrator Don Troth.
It is possible that other candidates could be nominated tomorrow.