WICHITA, Kansas – Local organizers are moving forward with a plan to recall Sedgwick County Commissioner Richard Ranzau. They rallied Tuesday, frustrated with the commissioner’s recent comments on illegal immigration, comments Ranzau defends.
If the Sedgwick County District Attorney says the petition is legally sound, they’ll have 90 days to get 9,650 signatures. Organizers believe they won’t have a problem getting those numbers, saying they’ve heard a lot of concern from county residents.
The concern from more than a dozen of petitioners was based on comments Ranzau made, wanting to find out how to restrict participation to the WIC program to legal residents only.
“The straw that broke the camel’s back was turning back money that belongs to Women, Infants and Children program. Those are the most vulnerable of our citizens,” said petition sponsor, Mary Ward.
Others, concerned about the conservative swing on the commission.
“We’ve seen the stuff that he’s done in the past, and I feel like he’s pushing the commission in a direction that’s not beneficial to all of us,” said recall elector, Tom James.
But Ranzau argues his views are supported.
“This all started when I took a position to oppose welfare benefits for illegal aliens,” Ranzau said. “I said then and I’ll say now, I’m not going to be intimidated by them. I stand up for the hard-working taxpaying American citizens.”
The commissioner said he’s confident a recall election would end in his favor.
“I think in the end, if it goes forward, I’ll come out favorably, but we’ll wait and see what the DA says and we’ll take the next step forward then,” said Ranzau.
But for those who rallied, they say this is about doing what’s right for the community.
“When they will deny medical care to the least fortunate, it’s time for citizens of this county to say, that’s not right,” said recall campaign member, Sandrine Lisk.
If the district attorney approves the wording and organizers get enough signatures, the election office will have 30 days to determine if all those signatures are valid before it would go to the ballot.
In order for a recall ballot to happen, each signature would have to be from a registered voter in Ranzau’s fourth district. KSN checked with the Sedgwick County Election Commissioner and the total cost would be roughly $50,000. It would be paid by the Sedgwick County Election office, out of the general fund, which is taxpayer’s money.