Les Mason was elected Monday night as the new representative for District 73 to the Kansas House.

Les Mason was elected Monday night as the new representative for District 73 to the Kansas House.
Mason replaces Clark Shultz, who was recently appointed to take the District 35 Senate seat vacated by Jay Emler. Emler was appointed to the Kansas Corporation Commission.
District 73 precinct committee men and women met Monday night at Central Christian College to elect the new representative. Mason was chosen from eight candidates, which also included Donald Hobson, Philip Hinman, Jenny Goering, James Toews, Justin Bravi, Nick Reinecker and John Reimer.
Mason and his wife, Kala, are owners of the Muffin Factory in McPherson. Mason has spent 35 years in agribusiness.
In his speech to the precinct people, he said growing up in McPherson was like living in the Magic Kingdom.
Mason said he wanted to give back to the community that had given him so much.
He said he would bring a business perspective to the Kansas Legislature.
“The sad reality is that we have a government of red tape, regulations and taxes — a government that stands in the way of me doing my job as a business man,” he said.
Mason said he would focus on serving his constituents.
“As a businessman, I served my clients needs and did not sell them,” he said. “I worked to help them reach their dreams and goals and aspirations. I will take each one of these skill sets to Topeka.”
He said he would also fight for McPherson County values.
Mason was elected to the seat on a second ballot with 23 of the 43 votes available. The next highest vote-gettter was Donald Hobson with 13 votes. Hobson has worked on many Republican campaigns in the county and state.
In his acceptance of the position, Mason said, “I can’t tell you how much this means to me. I will fight for the values of the 73rd District. I will make you proud.”
Mason said he will have a lot of catching up to do once he gets to Topeka.
“I am very excited, but humbled. There is going to have to be a lot of things for me to take on in a short amount of time,” he said.
He said one of things he would like to look at is the freedom of religion bill. The house passed the bill last week. It would allow businesses to refuse services to same-sex couples on religious grounds.
Mason will serve until January 2015. A regular election for the seat will be conducted this year. The filing deadline for the August primary is June 2.
Mason already has filed to run in August. Goering announced at the Monday meeting she also has filed to run in the fall.
Shultz will serve in the Senate until January 2015. A special election will be conducted this election cycle to fill seat for the remainder of the Senate term. Shultz has been campaigning for insurance commissioners, but has not formally filed for the position. He can’t run for both insurance commissioner and the Senate seat.