An associate pastor who has mentored young Republicans plans to run by petition for the District 2 seat on the Sedgwick County Commission.
Ben Sauceda, 28, is an associate pastor at Temple Baptist Church in Wichita and adviser to the Sedgwick County Teenage Republicans.
He is a Republican party precinct committee member.
Party candidates can file to run for commissioner by paying a fee or by collecting signatures. Sauceda said he plans to gather the 500 signatures needed to file for the seat by petition.
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District 2 includes south-central Wichita and Haysville. The current commissioner is Democrat Tim Norton, who said he plans to run again but probably won’t file until spring. He is in his third term.
Sauceda grew up in Haysville and now lives in South Wichita. He said he graduated from the former Riverdale Christian Academy south of Mulvane and took classes at Cowley County Community College and Wichita State University.
Sauceda said the economy spurred him to consider public office.
“Our county is going to be in the third year of using reserve funds to try to balance their budget,” Sauceda said. “At a time when people are struggling, we need to begin to control our spending than to continue to use our rainy-day fund.”
Sauceda said he also is concerned about giving taxpayer money to private businesses.
He said he’s been disappointed with some of the commission’s 3-2 votes, referring to Commissioners Norton, Jim Skelton and Dave Unruh voting together and Commissioners Karl Peterjohn and Richard Ranzau voting together.
Dalton Glasscock, leader of the teenage Republicans group, will be Sauceda’s campaign chairman. Vicki Tiahrt, wife of former U.S. Rep. Todd Tiahrt, will be his senior adviser, he said.
Bob Shanley, treasurer of Sauceda’s church, said he is supporting Sauceda because of his “perspective of a limited role of government.”
Shanley said Sauceda, the son of small-business owners, would be a “good steward of tax monies.”
Sauceda said he wanted to file by petition because “it’s a great opportunity to meet people in your district.”