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Pursuit of service

Pursuit of service

To supporters and fellow citizens of the 40th and 36th Districts:

My wife, Ellen, and I would like to thank you for your support to our campaign efforts in the 40th District. This was a steep uphill battle from the very beginning, having lost nine of the 10 counties I represented the last two years and then gaining 12 new counties.

I count it a great privilege and an opportunity of a lifetime to have served in the Kansas Senate for two years to further our rural and western Kansas interests. In the end, we gave the people a choice -- and that is important to a democracy. I will continue my service in other ways.

Of the things we accomplished, the most important by far was saving the 36th District Senate seat until the next census in 2020. That vote remains in rural Kansas where it belongs. Hopefully, we will be able to retain that seat after 2020 but only if we have a group of rural legislators who can work together alongside our community leaders in a non-partisan way to grow our rural economy, keep our schools open and strong, and build affordable housing for our economic expansion.

The challenges in our rural future are great. It takes more than simply voting on legislation. It takes vision and "targeted engagement" toward our rural interests to impact our future and stop the population loss. My 32 years of leadership in the Army prepared me well for this and taught me the importance of living the values of duty, honor, integrity and selfless service as I carefully listened, analyzed and then exercised decisive leadership.

I was prepared to continue, but I will pursue other forms of service now.

Sen. Ralph Ostmeyer will continue to carry the torch for us in Topeka. I congratulate him on his victory.

My deep-hearted appreciation goes out to the great people and communities of northwest and north-central Kansas. May we always acknowledge God being with us on this journey. That mindset will keep us humble, genuine and faithful to our rural core values.

Sen. Allen C. Schmidt, D-Hays