Focke declared winner of Riley County commission District 3 seat

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After two weeks of ballot counting and an election canvas, a winner has finally been announced for the Riley County commission District 3 seat.

Kathryn Focke has won the seat over Candidate John Matta after a race that was too close to call for the past two weeks. The final results from Monday’s election canvas put her at 4,982 votes, over Matta’s 4,856 votes.

Focke says she is very happy and excited about her win after multiple count days.  Her feelings after election night were almost like a sigh of relief, as there wasn’t much else she could do. However, she was feeling very nervous on Monday as those final votes were being counted.

Focke filed for office back in March, but had to adjust her campaign as the pandemic began.  Her main way of campaigning was meeting with voters in her district, which she started doing in August.   While doing so, she made sure to take the necessary precautions such as social distancing and wearing a mask.

Focke and her campaign team tried to meet with their constituents without having events. She says it was difficult and strange, but they tried to hit every piece of media they could.

“It was exciting, I’ve been involved in politics for many years, but we’ve never had anything quite like this,” says Focke.

When she takes office in Jan, Focke says her first priority is to set up a town hall with the community.  She wants to talk with the people in her district and hear what they have to say.  She also wants to keep in contact with her constituents and keep up transparency.

“I’ve got a lot to learn, a lot of people to meet, and a lot projects I’m anxious to get involved with,” says Focke.

Focke will be joined by current Commissioner John Ford and Commissioner Elect Greg McKinley from District 2.

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About Author

Sam Hennigh

County government and school board reporter. 2016 Kansas State University graduate in Journalism and Mass Communications. Kansas born and raised.

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