Editor's note: A previous version of this story incorrectly indicated Peterjohn's voting stance
The game of eenie, meenie, miney, mo had a lot of “me”s Wednesday as Sedgwick County commissioners decided who would lead them this year.
Three commissioners voted for themselves as the board chose a chairman and vice chairman.
Dave Unruh put up Tim Norton for chairman. Jim Skelton offered a second. Karl Peterjohn nominated Richard Ranzau. Ranzau made the second.
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Then the vote went like this:
Peterjohn: “Commissioner Ranzau.”
Ranzau: “Mr. Ranzau.”
Skelton: “Chairman Norton.”
Norton: “Tim Norton.”
Unruh: “Commissioner Norton.”
Then, Norton nominated Skelton as vice chairman. Unruh seconded.
Peterjohn nominated Ranzau. Ranzau gave the second.
Peterjohn and Ranzau voted for Ranzau, and Skelton, Norton and Unruh voted for Skelton.
Ranzau, a Republican, had said publicly that he would not support Norton, a Democrat, as chairman. He said the party majority should lead the board.
Unruh, also a Republican, is the outgoing chairman. Norton was vice chairman last year. Historically, the vice chairman moves to the chairman spot, but that hasn’t been the case recently. In 2010, former board members Kelly Parks and Gwen Welshimer pushed for Peterjohn to be chairman, passing over Norton.
Norton last led the board in 2003. A former mayor of Haysville, he has served on the board since 2001.
In making his recommendation that Norton should be chairman, Unruh called him a “faithful, knowledgeable commissioner and has certainly proven his ability to manage our meetings.”
Norton said later that it was a bit awkward voting for himself.
“But I had the desire to be chairman,” he said.
Unruh said he would have had no qualms about voting for himself.
“I vote for myself every time there’s an election,” he said, chuckling.