Sedgwick County maintenance staff pulled a possum out from Sedgwick County Commissioner Jim Howell's car on Thursday. (Video courtesy of Jim Howell) jgreen@wichitaeagle.com
Sedgwick County maintenance staff pulled a possum out from Sedgwick County Commissioner Jim Howell's car on Thursday. (Video courtesy of Jim Howell) jgreen@wichitaeagle.com

Prairie Politics

Insider dispatches from our writers on politics in Wichita, Topeka and Washington.

Prairie Politics

Who was playing possum in Jim Howell’s car?

By Daniel Salazar

dsalazar@wichitaeagle.com

September 09, 2016 04:30 PM

UPDATED September 09, 2016 05:49 PM

The Sedgwick County Courthouse had a furry visitor on Thursday.

County staff removed a possum that had burrowed under the hood of a county commissioner’s car.

“It was like my car was giving birth,” Chairman Jim Howell wrote on Facebook. He posted a 29-second video on YouTube.

“Sedgwick County — working for you!” Howell wrote on Facebook, echoing the county’s official slogan. “But today, I had some awesome county workers help me too!”

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“I was extremely grateful for this brave help!” the Facebook post read. “I had no idea this critter had crawled into my car or how to get him out!”

County maintenance workers had noticed a tail hanging out from under his car on Thursday morning, Howell said.

“They contacted my office and said, ‘You might want to get this taken care of,’ ” Howell said. “I didn’t even ask them to help.”

He said they took the possum out of the car after a couple of minutes and let it go in a nearby grassy area.

“Had I started that car, it would have killed that possum. It would have been bad,” Howell said. “They saved that possum’s life.”

“I’m glad they spotted him. I’m glad they rescued him.”

Howell said in the comments on his Facebook post that the possum was let go “over by the mayor’s car,” a reference to Wichita Mayor Jeff Longwell. He later wrote that he was kidding.

“Seriously, they saved its life and returned it to its natural habitat,” he wrote.

Daniel Salazar: 316-269-6791, @imdanielsalazar