Decision to focus on Chamber in community's best interest.
The race for a local Kansas House seat ended Friday when incumbent Reynaldo Mesa announced he was pulling out.
Mesa, the Garden City Republican who also serves as president of the Garden City Area Chamber of Commerce, said he realized the demands of being a state representative for Garden City and chamber president didn't allow him to give 100 percent to each position.
The Chamber's financial challenges made it even tougher.
A move by Finney County officials to end a long-standing deal that had the Chamber operate a Convention and Tourism Bureau funded by a local guest tax undermined financial support for the Chamber, which utilized some of those dollars for its expenses.
Along with tackling fallout from that financial setback, the Chamber president also needs to devote as much time as possible to working with local businesses and Chamber staff to improve the landscape for people who work and do business here. Trying to address those goals while handling legislative responsibilities proved to be too much.
Still, there's no doubt Gov. Sam Brownback's office wanted Mesa to stay in the race, since he could be counted on to back the governor's ultra-conservative GOP agenda.
Moving forward, we wouldn't anticipate the same from the only other candidate for the 123rd District seat, Garden City Commissioner John Doll.
Barring a successful write-in campaign, Doll will be headed to Topeka. We would expect Doll — who ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 2006 as a Democrat but switched to the GOP to run against Mesa — to pursue a more moderate path in the Legislature than conservative Republican extremists who recently pushed through such reckless legislation as a tax-cut plan that promises to greatly benefit the wealthy, yet cost Kansans who can least afford it in higher property and sales taxes.
Mesa, meanwhile, will be able to serve as the full-time, active and accessible leader the local Chamber needs.
In choosing to drop out of the House race and devote more energy to the Chamber job, Mesa made the right decision — one that's best for the community in a number of ways.