Butler County Farm Bureau Association (BCFBA) in partnership with the El Dorado Chamber of Commerce held their 2022 Primary Election Candidate Forum at the El Dorado Civic Center on Wednesday, July 27th. The event was free and open to the public.
In attendance were:
Doug Blex, State House Rep., District 12
Will Carpenter, State House Rep., District 75
Patrick Penn, State House Rep., District 85
Chuck Schmidt, State House Rep., District 88
Steve Fellers, Butler County, District 4
Vince Haines, Butler County, District 4
Darren Jackson, Butler County, District 4
Sasha Islam, Butler County, District 5
Dan Woydziak, Butler County, District 5
Following the welcome and introductions, State House Representatives were given 5 minutes each to provide a public statement.
Candidates for County Commissioner were given 3 minutes each to make a prepared statement and 2 minutes each to answer questions after which each candidate was allowed 2 minutes each to make closing statements.
Following the Forum, candidates were available for 30 minutes to answer questions from the public.
A “Vote No” rally to oppose the proposed amendment known as “Value Them Both” was held along North Main Street at North Main Park in El Dorado, on Sunday, June 26th following the recent Supreme Court decision that overturned Roe v. Wade.
The rally was organized by Suzanne Scribner and was attended by both men and women, and counted registered Democrats, Republicans and Independents in their number. They all stood together in bipartisan unison to have their voices heard and called for a “NO” vote against the “Value Them Both” proposition that will be on Kansas ballots on August 2nd.
The proposed amendment to the Kansas Constitutionwill be decided by Kansas voters during the primary election held on that date.
“We need to show that there are people in Butler County, Kansas, who are upset and we’re not going to be quiet,” said Scribner.
Women’s healthcare and access to health care in the state of Kansas is top of mind for a group of young women who attended the rally.
“We’re here supporting women’s reproductive rights,” said one person who asked to remain anonymous. “My boss is avidly “vote yes” and I don’t want to risk losing my job.”
“I’m here to protect the right and fight for the right for myself, my daughter, for every woman,” said Hali Stevenson. She attended the rally with her husband and their new born son.
“It’s unbelievable that it’s 2022 and we haven’t progressed to a state of equality,” said Stevenson. “For me it’s about removing beliefs from the equation. “
“Not everyone in the United States in Christian. Not everyone believes the propaganda that is being pushed,” she said. “It’s important to raise my voice for choice and make it about the beliefs of everyone and not a select few.”
“Pro-choice is an important thing to keep as a human right,” said Linda Swan. She was joined at the rally by her husband Mike Swan.
“I think the repercussions of this are dangerous,” said Mike Swan. “It was a hard-fought for right. The makeup of the court now was convoluted and it’s dangerous going forward with some other issues. I’m very upset about that,” he said.
Rally attendee, Debbie Hill shared her own personal story. “I had a miscarriage once and it was the most extreme pain I’ve ever been through,” she said.
“I almost had to force the doctor to perform the D&C,” said Hill. “Without a “No” vote, we will not have access to that procedure. We have to vote no.”
Located at Butler County Historical Society Home of the Kansas Oil Museum
Board members of the Butler County Historical Society Home of the Kansas Oil Museum picked up shovels and hard hats for an on-site groundbreaking ceremony on Tuesday, March 29, 2022.
A crowd of supporters gathered to witness Phil Benedict, Executive Director of the El Dorado Chamber of Commerce, the emcee for the event with Brad Nightengale, Senior Vice President of Vintage Bank, Caiden Bump, Sales Manager of El Dorado Building Systems, Bill Young, Mayor of El Dorado, and Loren Jack speak during the groundbreaking event.
“We are excited to share that it is for our new Energy Education Center,” said Jack.
The Energy Education Center, a new facility spearheaded by Loren Jack, Owner of Albert Hogoboom Oilfield Trucking and President of the Board of Trustees, will be an indoor event center equipped with exhibit showcases, tables, seating, a stage, technology for presentations, a kitchen with a service window, and a 14ft access door for special equipment.
“This building will allow for interactive STEM activities that look to the future while honoring the museum’s mission to preserve the history of the oil industry,” said Jack.
The addition of the Energy Education Center will free up space in the Large Exhibit Hall to expand displays and add exhibit features from the Museum’s extensive historic collections. The combination of these new features is estimated to bring 15,000 additional visitors per year to the Museum and El Dorado.
In attendance were District 12 Representative Doug Blex, District 75 Representative Will Carpenter and District 14 Senator Mike Fagg. They spoke to Butler County residents about the work they are currently doing on their behalf and answered questions.
Representative Blex represents House District 12 which spans parts of 5 counties; Mongomery(part), Chautauqua, Cowley, Butler and Elk. Blex serves on the Health and Human Services Committee, is Vice-Chair of the Local Government Committee and is on the House Taxation Committee.
“I always enjoy the Farm Bureau forums,” said Representative Blex. “I feel like I get some really straight-shooting of what the issues are.”
Representative Will Carpenter represents House District 75 which serves the cities of Cassoday, El Dorado, Elbing, Potwin and Towanda and the townships of Chelsea, Clifford, El Dorado, Fairmount, Fairview, Lincoln, Milton, Murdock, Plum Grove, Prospect, Rosalia and SycamoreTowanda.
Representative Carpenter serves on the Appropriations Committee, the Commerce, Labor and Economic Development Committee and the Social Services Budget Committee, for which he is the Chair.
“I enjoy hearing from the folks back home,” said Carpenter. “They are my eyes and ears out there.”
Senator Mike Fagg represents Senate District 14 which covers 10 counties; Butler, Chautauqua, Coffey, Cowley, Elk, Greenwood, Labette, Montgomery, Wilson and Woodson Counties.
Senator Fagg serves on the Agriculture/Natural Resources Committee, Ways and Means, Utilities, Financial Institutions/Insurance and serves as the Vice-Chair, Joint Committee for Education, Joint Committee for Mental Health, Sparks Sub-Committee for Modern and Efficiency.
“We had a lot of great questions,” said Fagg. “The only thing I wish is that we would have more people here because we need to get everyone involved, everyone’s thoughts and ideas need to be heard.”
Jeff Varner, Policy Chair for the Butler County Farm Bureau Association, said the event provided an opportunity for the public to visit with legislators.
“It’s always amazing what you learn,” said Varner. “We have worked hard over the years to hold events like this and plan several more in the coming months.”
“The whole purpose is to give the community a chance to talk to their representatives, see what is happening in Topeka,” said Phil Benedict, Executive Director of the El Dorado Chamber of Commerce.
“We hope to have more throughout the year as this is an election year,” said Benedict.
The next Butler County Farm Bureau Association Legislative Coffee is scheduled to be on Saturday, March 26 from 9-11a at the Augusta Train Depot in Augusta. Representative Kristy Williams and Senator Ty Masterson will be in attendance to share the work they are doing in Topeka and visit with voters.
Butler County, Kansas – With the increased gatherings for the upcoming holiday season, we hope you and your loved ones stay safe and healthy. In the event that you do develop symptoms over the holiday season, the Butler County Health Department will be conducting Saliva PCR COVID-19 testing on the following dates:
December 27th, 28th, 29th, 30th 9am to 12pm – NO APPOINTMENT NECCESSARY 206 N. Griffith St., Ste. B, El Dorado, Kansas, 67042
The saliva PCR test requires that you do not eat, drink or smoke fifteen (15) minutes prior to being tested.
Please park in the reserved spaces and call the number listed on the sign for a nurse to come to your vehicle to be tested.
Please remain in your vehicle, the nurse will come to you.
Test results may take up to seventy-two (72) hours to receive. You will be contacted by Health Department staff via phone with your results.
Please complete the testing submission form prior to arrival.