Primary Election sees close races, upsets
Updated at 10:34 a.m. Wednesday, August 8
Voters hit the polls on Tuesday, Aug. 7, to cast votes on the Republican and Democratic tickets. Once the results were tallied, races were narrowed — and three presumably decided.
All results are preliminary until canvased. Preliminary results for contested races are included below.
Final, canvased results will be published within the next two weeks, following an official canvas at each county level. Final results will include all non-contested races, as well as other township and city races.
All four Kansas district seats for the United States House of Representatives are on this year’s ballot, and the district encompassing the local area is District 2. Incumbent Lynn Jenkins did not run for re-election.
For the Republican position, seven candidates were competing for the General Election ballot spot. Winning the spot was Steve Watkins with 26 percent of the votes. Other candidates received votes as follows: Caryn Tyson, 23 percent; Kevin Jones, 16 percent; Steve Fitzgerald, 12 percent; Dennis Pyle, 12 percent; Doug Mays, 8 percent; and Vernon J. Fields, 3 percent.
In Brown County, Pyle was the preferred candidate — receiving 38.09 percent of the vote — compared to Watkins’ 26.61 percent. Pyle also was preferred in Nemaha County, receiving 38.13 percent of the vote, compared to Watkins’ 29.74 percent.
Watkins will face Democrat Paul Davis and Libertarian Kelly Standley in the General Election.
Numerous statewide offices are up for grabs in this year’s election, including Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General, State Treasurer, and Commissioner of Insurance.
For Governor, five Democrats, seven Republicans, one Libertarian and one Independent candidate filed.
In the Democratic race, Laura Kelly won with 52 percent of the vote. Other candidates received votes as follows: Carl Brewer, 20 percent; Joshua Svaty, 18 percent; Arden Andersen, 8 percent; and Jack Bergeson, 3 percent.
In Brown County, Kelly won with 65.04 percent of the vote, while she won in Nemaha County with 63.68 percent.
In the Republican race, Kris Kobach is currently leading Jeff Colyer by 191 votes. All precincts and advanced votes have been counted, but provisional ballots have not. At this time, both candidates received 41 percent of the vote.
Other candidates received votes as follows: Jim Barnett, 9 percent; Ken Selzer, 8 percent; Patrick “PK” Kucera, 1 percent; Tyler Ruzich, 1 percent; and Joseph Tutera Jr., 1 percent.
In Brown County, Kobach received 40.63 percent of the vote while Colyer had 40.10 percent — a difference of eight votes. In Nemaha County, Kobach received 40.94 percent of the vote, while Colyer had 40.77 percent — a difference of three votes.
Democratic winner Kelly and Republican winner Kobach will face Libertarian Jeff Caldwell/Mary Gerlt and Independent Rick Kloos/Nathaniel Kloos in the General Election.
Secretary of State
For Secretary of State, five Republicans, one Democrat and one Libertarian filed.
In the Republican race, Scott Schwab won with 38 percent of the vote. Other candidates received votes as follows: Randy Duncan, 20 percent; Dennis Taylor, 20 percent; Craig McCullah, 12 percent; and Keith Esau, 10 percent.
In Brown County, Taylor was the preferred candidate with 43.56 percent of the vote, and he also won in Nemaha County with 44.15 percent of the vote.
Republican winner Schwab will face Democrat Brian “BAM” McClendon and Libertarian Rob Hodgkinson in the General Election.
For Attorney General, two Republicans and one Democrat filed. One Republican candidate was pulled from the race.
Republican Derek Schmidt will face Democratic candidate Sarah G. Swain in the General Election.
State Treasurer candidates were non-contested in the Primary. Democratic candidate Marci Francisco and incumbent Republican Jake LaTurner will face each other in the General Election.
Commissioner of Insurance
For Commissioner of Insurance, two Republicans and one Democrat filed.
In the Republican race, Vicki Schmidt defeated Clark Shultz by a slim margin — 52 percent to 48 percent.
In Brown County, Schmidt was the preferred candidate with 67.54 percent of the vote, and she also won in Nemaha County with 59.57 percent.
She will face Democrat Nathaniel McLaughlin in the General Election.
Other state races specific to this area include those for Kansas House of Representatives, District 62; District Magistrate Judge, District 22, Position 3; and District Court Judge, District 22.
The only one of these contested in the Primary was that of District Magistrate Judge, District 22, Position 3. Because of no filings from other parties, this race has essentially been decided — pending write-in bids in the General Election. In this race, Scott Anson defeated incumbent Eliz. Ensley Deiter by a margin of 900 votes to 776 — or 54 percent to 46 percent. Both candidates were Republican.
Because of no filings from other parties, two commission seats were essentially decided — pending write-in bids in the General Election.
For Brown County Commissioner, District 1, Richard L. Lehmkuhl defeated incumbent Steve D. Roberts by a margin of 350 votes to 310 — or 53.03 percent to 46.97 percent. Both candidates were Republican.
For Nemaha County Commissioner, District 1, incumbent Gary L. Scoby defeated Lester J. Niehues by a margin of 537 votes to 124 — or 81.24 percent to 18.76 percent. Both candidates were Republican.
Editors Note: There are still multiple provisional ballots that need to be counted that could affect these results.