Kansas GOP Insider (wannabe): JoCo Sheriff Race: Denning out. Hayden in.

Monday, February 22, 2016

JoCo Sheriff Race: Denning out. Hayden in.

So this happened:

Calvin Hayden, a former Johnson County Sheriff’s deputy and a former Johnson County commissioner, has thrown his hat into the ring to replace outgoing sheriff Frank Denning.

No word yet on whether he has an opponent, but I’ll dish what I’ve heard. A few months ago, Sheriff Denning was planning to run for re-election. Word on the street at that time was he would have an Ed Eilert-backed opponent.

Eilert and the sheriff had a bit bad blood based on the budget. Denning requested funding for additional sheriff’s deputies. Eilert wanted to spend money on King Louie. A compromise of sorts was reached.  Rather than the 42 new deputy hires, the commission approved budgeting to hire 21 new deputies and 21 un-deputized sheriff’s staff.

I don’t believe the Eilert and Denning ever really made up, but I don’t know. Their budget fight was fairly public. What happened in the aftermath—if anything—wasn’t, and I heard whispers of an Eilert-backed opponent likely to enter the sheriff’s race.

Now that Denning has decided not to run, it will be interesting to see if Hayden winds up with a Republican primary opponent. I would be surprised to learn that Denning didn’t back Hayden’s bid for the office, and I would likewise be surprised to learn Eilert didn’t back Hayden.

Things could get interesting. Or not. It’s still a little early to tell.

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