A Holcomb man is bringing a little party rivalry to the race for the Senate District 39 seat, which encompasses Finney, Grant, Greeley, Hamilton, Haskell, Kearny, Morton, Stanton, Stevens and Wichita Counties.

John Doll, R-Garden City, who currently holds the Kansas House District 123 seat, filed last April for the Senate District 39, which is currently held by incumbent Larry Powell, R-Garden City, who is seeking his second four-year term. The two will face off in the Aug. 2 Republican primary.

The winner of the primary will have some competition from across the aisle to contend with in November’s general election. Zacheriah Worf, a Democrat from Holcomb who filed for the seat on Monday.

Worf, who worked as the manger of Staples for the past three years and is currently in the process of becoming an independent insurance agent, is chairman of the Finney County Democratic Party. Until recently, he was focused only on reviving the Democratic Party’s presence in Finney County.

“A part of that initiative was to find a candidate to run for the senate seat,” Worf said.

After talking to some potential candidates who said they would be interested in running — but not until the next election — and at the urging of Kerry Gooch, the Chairman for the Kansas Democratic Party, the 30-year-old Worf decided to throw his hat in the ring.

Issues important to Worf include increasing minimum wage, expanding Medicare and he wants to make it easier for non-U.S. citizens to become citizens.

“I want to make it easier for people who have fought to become citizens,” Worf said.

Worf, who was born and raised in Garden City, is married to Rachel Worf. The couple has two children, Ashton, 12, and Holly Keim, 10.

In other area legislature contests, former Finney County Attorney John P. Wheeler, R-Garden City, who filed in September as a candidate for Kansas House District 123, will face Garden City resident Joel Thomas Erskin in the primary.

According to the Secretary of State’s website, the following candidates have filed for state legislature:

In the House of Representatives, District 115 Republicans Andrew Evans, Cimarron, and Boyd Orr, Fowler, have filed for the seat currently held by incumbent Ron Ryckman, Sr., who is not seeking re-election.

In District 116, incumbent Kyle Hoffman, R-Coldwater, will face Jolene E. Roitman, D-Wellington in the general election.

District 118 incumbent Don Hineman, R-Dighton, is unopposed.

In District 119, Democrat Daniel Love of Dodge City has filed, and Dodge City Republican Bradley Ralph has filed. Incumbent Rep. Bud Estes, R-Dodge City, is running for the state senate.

District 122 Rep. Russ Jennings, R-Lakin, is unopposed.

In District 123, Garden City Republicans John Wheeler and Joel Erskin have filed.

District 124 incumbent Stephen Alford, R-Ulysses, and District 125 incumbent Shannon Francis, R-Liberal, are unopposed.

In state Senate District 33, incumbent Mitch Holmes, R-St. John, is not seeking re-election. Matt Bristow, D-Ellinwood, Larry Salmans, R-Hanston, and Mary Taylor, R-Stafford have filed for the seat.

District 38 incumbent Garrett Love is not seeking re-election. Miguel Angel Rodriguez, D-Dodge City, Bud Estes, R-Dodge City, and Joyce Warshaw, R-Dodge City have filed.

In District 39, Garden City Republicans John Doll and Larry Powell will face off in the primary. Zacheriah Worf, D-Holcomb, has filed on the Democratic side.

On the federal level, four have filed for the U.S. Senate, including Monique Singh, D-Kansas City; Patrick Wiesner, D-Lawrence; incumbent Jerry Moran, R-Hays; and DJ Smith, R-Osawatomie

In the U.S. House of Representatives, First District contest, incumbent Republican Tim Huelskamp will face Great Bend physician Roger Marshall in the primary.

Another House candidate, Alan LaPolice, announced recently he plans to run as an independent for November’s general election against either Marshall or Huelskamp, whoever wins the August primary.


A previous version of this story incorrectly reported state Senate candidate Zacheriah Worf’s stance on providing access to government programs for non-U.S. citizens. He wants to make it easier for non-U.S. citizens to become citizens.