Elections

Arnold files for commission seat in District 1

Wichita school board member Betty Arnold is the latest candidate to file for a seat on the Sedgwick County Commission.

Arnold announced last month that she planned to run for commissioner Dave Unruh's spot on the five-person board but didn't file until Friday.

She said she had been out of town recently.

Unruh, a Republican, and Arnold, a Democrat, so far are the only candidates who have filed for the District 1 seat, which covers northeast Sedgwick County, including Kechi, Bel Aire, Eastborough and northeast Wichita.

Commissioner Gwen Welshimer, a Democrat, has filed to retain her District 5 seat. Republican Dion Avello, the mayor of Derby, has filed for that district as well.

Derby City Council member Chuck Warren, a Republican, said he still plans to file for Welshimer's district despite undergoing triple-bypass surgery on Oct. 6.

A managing broker for the Derby office of Coldwell Banker/Plaza Real Estate and a commercial investor, Warren said he feels fine and plans to enter the race. He said he likely would file after the first of the year.

Wichita City Council member Jim Skelton, a Republican, has said he also is considering running for Welshimer's seat on the board but hasn't filed. He has said he will decide by the end of the year.

Kelly Parks' District 4 seat also is up for re-election next year. Parks, a Republican, hasn't filed to retain his spot on the board.

Lucy Burtnett, a Republican and former commissioner whom Parks defeated in 2006, has filed for the District 4 seat.

Former Wichita City Council member Sharon Fearey, a Democrat, also has said she plans to run for Parks' seat.

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

To file, candidates for the board must pay 1 percent of the salary plus a $35 fee. Or they can forgo the filing fee by petition, which requires a certain number of valid signatures depending on the number of voters registered in their party in that district.

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