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Welshimer to announce plans for campaign

Sedgwick County commissioner Gwen Welshimer said today she will announce her campaign plans Friday.

Welshimer will speak at 11 a.m. Friday on the Main Street side of the historic courthouse, which is across the street from the county courthouse.

Three seats on the commission are up for re-election next year: Welshimer’s, Kelly Parks’ and Dave Unruh’s.So far, Unruh, a Republican, is the only commissioner who has filed to retain his seat.

Derby Mayor Dion Avello, a Republican, has filed for Welshimer’s spot on the board. Derby City Council member Chuck Warren, also a Republican, has said he plans to.

Most recently, Wichita City Council member Jim Skelton, a Republican, said he was considering a move from City Hall to the courthouse, where he would serve Welshimer’s district.

Lucy Burtnett has filed for her former seat on the board.

A Republican, Burtnett will run for the seat now held by Parks, who defeated her in 2006.

Former Wichita City Council member Sharon Fearey, a Democrat, also has said she plans to run for Parks’ seat but has not filed.

Wichita school board member Betty Arnold recently announced her intention to run for Unruh’s district, but she has not yet filed with the election office.

Commissioners, who are full-time county employees, earn an annual salary of $83,718.

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