Local GOP leadership believes O’Donnell will be true to word in agreeing to step down from commission

Published: Nov. 4, 2020 at 4:37 PM CST
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - In a narrow margin Tuesday night (Nov. 3), incumbent Republican Michael O’Donnell won the race for the District 2 Sedgwick County Commission seat, beating Democratic challenger Sarah Lopez by less than 500 votes.

O’Donnell has agreed not to accept a second term on the commission. He made the announcement Saturday (Oct. 31) following an admission that he was involved in a cover-up related to a false attack ad aimed at Wichita Mayor Brandon Whipple. O’Donnell still said he had nothing to do with the ad that made false sexual-harassment claims against Whipple, although he is listed as a defendant in a lawsuit claiming that he spearheaded those efforts alongside state representative Michael Capps and Wichita City Council member James Clendenin.

Wednesday, Eyewitness News’ efforts to reach O’Donnell were not successful. We wanted to know if he still planned to pass on the seat following Tuesday night’s results showing him to be the winner. On Tuesday night, Lopez, his opponent for the seat said since the count was so close, she planned to contest those results. Lopez also did not return messages on Wednesday.

Eyewitness News on Wednesday did speak with Sedgwick County Republican Party Chair Ben Sauceda who said he believes O’Donnell will stay true to his word and step down if Tuesday’s result stands.

If O’Donnell is certified the winner in District 2 and steps down as he said he will, the Sedgwick County Republican Party will select his replacement to serve the commission on the district that includes southwest Wichita, Haysville and Clearwater.

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