The Geary County Republican Party will hold a meeting Jan. 2 starting at 6 p.m. at the Geary County 4-H Senior Citizens Center at 1107 S Spring Valley Rd.

During the meeting, the group will select someone to replace Geary County Commissioner Ben Bennett who died unexpectedly at his home Dec. 12 and who had served the county’s first district for many years.

“The convention will start at 7 (p.m.) my credentials of the first district precinct committeemen and women — committee women — will start at 6 (p.m.) will get all those folks seated,” Rick Roberts said. "And then at seven o'clock we'll start the nomination process.”

This is in accordance with a state statute dictating that when an elected official such as Bennett dies, resigns or otherwise leaves office, the party must nominate a replacement within 21 days.

“State statute says that if that person's a sitting Republican or Democrat, their county party is to have an emergency meeting,” Roberts said.

After the meeting, the party’s nominee will be submitted to Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly for consideration.

The nominee will have to be a Republican from the county's first district and only committeemen and committeewomen from the first district may nominate or second Bennett’s replacement. Each committeeman or woman is only able to nominate or second one person.

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