Hays USD 489 school board member Luke Oborny on Friday became the first to file for several local government seats up for election this year.
Filing deadline is noon June 3 for the Nov. 5 general election. Four USD 489 school board seats and three Hays City Commission seats will be decided this year. Four seats will also be open in Ellis USD 388. In Victoria, three city government positions are up for election.
Primaries will be conducted in August if there are enough candidates to warrant — generally double the number of seats plus one, according to Ellis County Clerk Donna Maskus.
More information on filing can be obtained from Maskus, whose office is at the Ellis County Administrative Center, 718 Main, or calling 785-628-9410.
Oborny was a new face to the school board when he was elected in 2015, receiving the third most votes. He is a La Crosse native and has lived in Hays since 1997. He is a customer sales supervisor and sales trainer with Nex-Tech. His wife, Kristy, is a teacher and librarian at O’Loughlin Elementary.
“This is not a decision I came to lightly, but rather I have been thinking about it for the past several months," Oborny said Friday in an emailed statement to The Hays Daily News.
"I have received feedback from multiple constituents asking if I was going to rerun, encouraging me to rerun, and some stating they would write my name in if I choose not to rerun. I feel like my job isn’t done yet and I would like to continue to be a part of the process to better our schools and our public education system.
"In my heart I have known for a while I was planning to rerun and decided to go ahead and make it official. I also encourage others to consider running for school board or other local seats. For me personally, to serve is a great honor and responsibility as important as our right to vote,” he said.
School board seats filled by Paul Adams, Mandy Fox and Greg Schwartz are also up for election this year.
Adams was the top vote-getter in 2015 and is also serving a first term. He is dean of the College of Education and Anschutz Professor of Education at Fort Hays State University.
Fox currently serves as president of the board and is also serving a first term. She’s a Hays native and operates a consulting business.
Schwartz, an attorney, is a long-time member of the school board. He was first elected in 2003 and but fell short of re-election in 2015. He was appointed to the board in August 2017 to finish the term of Sarah Rankin, who resigned to move out of state.
Three positions on Hays City Commission will also be decided this year. Those seats are currently filled by James Meier, who served as mayor in 2018, Henry Schwaller, who became mayor in Thursday’s reoganization, and Ron Mellick.
Meier and Schwaller, as the top vote-getters in 2015, are serving four-year terms. Mellick was appointed last year to finish the two-year term of Chris Dinkel, who was elected in 2017. Dinkel resigned after being accepted to Columbia Law School.
• In Ellis, the school board seats filled by Mike Keller, Glenn Fondoble, Melanie Fischer and Rob Soneson are up for election.
• On the ballot in Victoria wil be mayor and two city council positions. Victoria Mayor is John Schulte in a two-year term. The two council positions are four-year terms and are currently held by Erica Dinges and Dustin Schumacher.
• Victoria USD 432 will have four seats up for election. The incumbents are Kevin Huser, Don Pruitt, Tammy Lichter and Sean Rodger.
Updated 3 p.m. with Victoria City Council information.