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Voters Elect Ranzau, Cruse For Sedgwick County Commission 4th District Race

LaRissa Lawrie
Democrat Lacey Cruse and Sedgwick County Commissioner Richard Ranzau

Sedgwick County Commissioner Richard Ranzau is one step closer to a third term.

Voters elected Ranzau over challenger Hugh Nicks in the Republican primary for the 4th District seat Tuesday.

Ranzau was trailing in a close race against Nicks for most of the night. In the end, he edged Nicks by 87 votes. Ranzau received 51 percent of the vote to Nicks’ 49 percent.

"Well, we’re just very happy. I think we got outspent five to one, so for us to be able to squeak by, I think, was a good accomplishment for us. I appreciate all the voters, and everyone who helped out with the campaign," Ranzau said after the Sedgwick County Election Office posted the unofficial results.

Ranzau says votes from his hometown of Valley Center and Park City came in late and likely put him over the top in the race.

"They hadn’t come in until that point, and I think that is what made the difference," Ranzau says.

He will face Democrat Lacey Cruse in the fall election.

Cruse, a hospice consultant and singer, took an early lead in the Democratic primary and never gave it up. She beat Michael Kinard 57 percent to 43 percent.

Cruse says she’s enjoying her first campaign win but knows she has more work to do.

"Now is the time that we really get ourselves together; we refocus, we group, and now it’s time to go. I mean, it’s full steam ahead," Cruse says.

The Sedgwick County Election Office data shows there are 55,737 registered voters in the 4th District. About 20,000 are not affiliated with a political party. The office reported a turnout of about 22 percent for the primary.

Cruse says she wants to inspire more people to go to the polls.

"I want to run a positive campaign that gets people involved. We want to inspire our youth. We want to inspire the people who have not been voting before. We want to really just get people involved who haven’t been involved — I can’ t say that enough," Cruse says.

Official results will be released after provisional ballots are counted.

The 4th District covers the northwest part of Sedgwick County including areas of downtown, west Wichita, Valley Center and Maize.

Two other seats on the Sedgwick County Commission are up for election this fall. In the 1st District, the race is between Republican Pete Meitzner and Democrat Renee Duxler.

For the 5th District, current Commissioner Jim Howell is going for a second term. The man who Howell replaced, Jim Skelton, is running as an independent candidate for Howell’s seat.

Follow Deborah Shaar on Twitter @deborahshaar. To contact KMUW News or to send in a news tip, reach us at news@kmuw.org.

Deborah joined the news team at KMUW in September 2014 as a news reporter. She spent more than a dozen years working in news at both public and commercial radio and television stations in Ohio, West Virginia and Detroit, Michigan. Before relocating to Wichita in 2013, Deborah taught news and broadcasting classes at Tarrant County College in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas area.