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State senator resigns

Staff writer

State Sen. Jim Barnett of Emporia announced he will resign from office, effective Oct. 1.

Barnett has represented the 17th District for 10 years in the senate. He previously served on the Emporia Board of Education for eight years.

Barnett made the announcement Sept. 8 with no explanation of why he made the decision or what his future plans are. He could not be reached for comment.

Barnett’s resignation is early enough that the Republican and Democratic parties may nominate candidates to appear on the Nov. 2 ballot. The winner of the election will represent the 17th District for the remaining two years of Barnett’s term.

The Republican Central Committee for the 17th District will have a nominating convention at 7:30 p.m. Thursday in the jury assembly room on the second floor of Lyon County Courthouse, 430 Commercial St., Emporia.

Any republican interested in running for the position can contact Marion County Republican Party Chairman Todd Heitschmidt at (620) 381-3704. A candidate must attend the convention to be nominated. The convention will also select someone to serve in Barnett’s position until mid-January.

The Marion County Republican Party reorganization meeting will be rescheduled because of the convention, Heitschmidt said.

Marion County Democratic Party Chairman Harry Bennett was unaware of any scheduled nominating convention Monday, but he said he thought there were a lot of good potential candidates.

Any democrat interested in running for the position should contact Bennett at (620) 382-8480.

The 17th District includes the eastern two-thirds of Marion County, as well as all of Chase, Lyon, and Morris counties and parts of Coffey, Greenwood, and Osage counties.

Last modified Sept. 16, 2010

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