Great Bend voters select write-in candidate to be next mayor

GREAT BEND, Kan. (KWCH) Great Bend's next mayor didn't appear on Tuesday night's ballot.

As a write-in candidate, Cody Schmidt beat out three candidates on the ballot. He won more than half of the vote, with about 51 percent taking time to write down his name on their ballots.

"It's overwhelming, the support I've received," Schmidt says.

Running for mayor is something Schmidt says he's wanted to pursue for awhile.

"The more I thought about it, I looked at everything and how it fell into play, and I looked at my children and thought, 'you know, why wouldn't I want to work together with this community to better what we have here and plan for our town's future?"

And 2019 is the year he's following through. Schmidt decided to run as a write-in candidate in June. He credits his campaign's success to his involvement in the community.

"I just did everything I could to get out in the public, to explain to people who I was and what I stood for," he says. "And I think that spoke volumes and the results of the election show that."

Since there were so many write-in votes, election workers in Great Bend still have to verify voter intentions.

"If the name might be spelled slightly different, or if they may have written the wrong first name or something like that," explains Barton County Election Officer Donna Zimmerman. "As long as you can clearly understand the voter's intention, those votes can be finalized."

Zimmerman says finalizing the votes should happen Monday (Nov. 11) and she doesn't expect the final review to chance the election's results.

"I certainly don't think it'll affect the outcome of the mayor's race because of the numbers that were slated for that election," she says.

Assuming the final results stand, Schmidt takes over as Great Bend mayor in January.