A former county commissioner says he's running again for the District 5 seat after nearly four years away from public service.
Jim Skelton served on the commission as a Republican from 2011 to 2015, but didn't seek re-election, he says, due to health reasons. Now recovered, he's currently collecting signatures -- he's aiming for 2,500 -- to get on the ballot as an unaffiliated candidate.
Skelton would face Republican Commissioner Jim Howell in the November general election.
Skelton says he wants to put aside partisan politics and represent his district's residents regardless of party affiliation.
"The county has oversight over several functions such as emergency management, the zoo, public works, those are non-partisan issues," he says. "You know, I think that sometimes partisan politics can get in the way of strong decision-making."
Skelton says another focus of his campaign will be citizen involvement. During his term in office, he started the commission's first District Advisory Board, which he wants to revive if elected.
Citizen input is "really something that I feel is critical to how I operate as a public servant," he says.
Skelton also served for six years on the Wichita City Council.
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