With Monday’s closure of the filing period for candidates seeking office in 2014, Clay County has undergone a sea change in party affiliation. For the first time in 140 years, all county elections will be decided in the Republican primary.
Seven county offices are up for reelection and five county officials elected as Democrats have joined the Republican Party. District Clerk Dan Slagle and County Clerk Sasha Kelton announced their change in affiliation during an event held by the Clay County Republican Party on Oct. 21, while County Judge Kenneth Liggett, County Treasurer Debra Alexander and Precinct 2 Commissioner Johnny Gee changed parties during the filing period.
Justice of the Peace John Swenson, appointed by commissioners following the retirement of Jim Humphrey, will begin his first full term as a Republican. Swenson, Slagle, Kelton and Alexander are unopposed.
Precinct 4 Commissioner A.J. Peek will challenge Liggett in the Republican primary for the office of county judge. Both men are from Vashti. Peek was elected commissioner as a Republican, and is in his first term as commissioner.
Scott Graham of Bluegrove and Richard Keen of Buffalo Springs seek to replace Peek as commissioner of Precinct 4.
Van Blevins of Henrietta challenges Gee of Dean in the primary for the Precinct 2 Commissioner’s seat.