August 3, 2009
Written by David Clouston
Salina Journal

ELLSWORTH -- Don Svaty hates to see any more deep cuts made in local education and service programs that have already seen their state aid shrivel due to the decline in the economy.

"I would like to have us look at trying some kind of revenue enhancements. This business of just trying to cut, cut, cut -- you destroy programs. You cut it so bad; it's not functioning properly any more," Svaty said Sunday, after being picked to fill his son Josh's seat from the 108th District in the Kansas House of Representatives.

Don Svaty was the only person nominated, and he was elected unanimously by the 35 delegates at a meeting of the 108th District Democratic precinct committee. The meeting took place Sunday afternoon at the Ellsworth County Courthouse.

Josh Svaty
, 29, starts today as Kansas secretary of agriculture. His unexpired term in the Legislature runs into early January 2011.

Don Svaty, a 65-year-old farmer, former teacher and Ellsworth School Board member, plans to seek election to the seat in November 2010.

The 108th District includes all of Ellsworth County, all of rural Saline County, parts of south Salina and one precinct in Dickinson County, in Solomon.

The 35 precinct committee members attending Sunday's meeting represented more than half of the 61 members from the 108th District who were eligible to participate. Shirley Jacques, chairwoman of the Saline County Democratic Party, said the vote for Don Svaty was by secret ballot.

Besides exploring ways to enhance state revenues, Don Svaty said he also wants to be a strong voice in Topeka for voters from rural areas of Kansas

"I'm concerned that there are getting to be fewer and fewer rural voices in the Legislature," he said. "That's still a significant part of this state and how the state does economically.

"I think I bring to the state a wealth of experience in that area that needs to be heard and needs to be represented," Svaty said. "I'm enthused about having the opportunity."

Going west from Topeka, he said, "(Lawmakers) aren't sure what part of the state that is, any more," he said. "They're not sure we exist unless we yell pretty loud. I'm pretty good at yelling. They'll hear me."

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