WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — Changes are coming to the Sedgwick County Election Office. Kansas Secretary of State Scott Schwab has appointed Laura Rainwater as the county’s new election commissioner.
Rainwater is the third Sedgwick County election commissioner since 2021.
Angela Caudillo resigned in December 2022, and Tabitha Lehman was not re-appointed in 2021.
Rainwater is hoping to use her skills from working elections to help her in this new position.
“Fourteen to 15 hours days every time there is an election, but it gives me a sense of pride to serve in that way,” said Rainwater.
Working as an election supervising judge for the last three to four years, she said it’s her passion.
While she hasn’t been sworn in yet, she’s already looking ahead to her new role.
“Budget season is upon us with the county, so we will be looking at our budget and hopefully rightsizing our budget and right-sizing our staff,” said Rainwater.
The budget is set for this election year, but Sedgwick County Commissioner Pete Meitzner said changes could happen if needed.
“We have some flexibility to try and make adjustments either permanently or temporarily,” said Meitzner.
Besides the budget, Rainwater plans on looking at staffing. She said some are feeling overworked.
But she does plan to keep certain operations in place, especially with the August primary just months away.
“There is a lot of talk about it. Our processes will be the same. We have great processes in place right now. They are efficient,” said Rainwater.
Another item up for discussion is the current location of the Sedgwick County Election Office inside the Historic Courthouse.
Both Commissioner Meitzner and Rainwater said the county is looking at different options to possibly relocate.
Rainwater expects to be in her new role by the end of March.