Conservative commission voting block uncertain after Tuesday

A conservative commission majority that has voted to cut recreation, the arts, culture and the health department in the state’s second most populous county is uncertain after Tuesday’s election.

Because conservative Sedgwick County Commission incumbent Karl Peterjohn fell in the Aug. 2 primary, the majority likely would have crumbled if Democrat Tim Norton held onto his seat in Tuesday’s general election. Instead Norton lost to Michael O’Donnell in a tight race.

The Wichita Eagle ( reports that O’Donnell said Norton was “too liberal for the county.” Norton had tended to be more supportive than the conservative voting block of participating in economic development coalitions, public health programs and using bonds to pay for capital projects. O’Donnell, meanwhile, has taken positions from both the majority and the minority.

Information from: The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle,