Colyer or Kobach? We won’t know for a few days
Updated 1 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 8
A pair of incumbents won’t be headed back to the State Legislature.
With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Republican John Whitmer (R-Wichita) has been upset in the GOP primary race for the 93rd District. J.C. Moore (R-Clearwater) beat Whitmer by 52 votes, according to unofficial results. The vote will be certified on Monday.
Moore edged Whitmer 1,136 votes to 1,084, or 51.2-48.8 percent. Whitmer has been one of most conservative voices in the Legislature, but raised the ire of a number of residents in southwest Sedgwick County by supporting changes in regulations that would make it easier for large chicken operations to start up in Kansas. The 93rd District covers southwest Sedgwick County, including Haysville south of Grand Avenue plus Clearwater, Viola and Cheney.
In District 80, which includes portions of Sumner and Cowley counties, Anita Judd-Jenkins (R-Arkansas City) has lost. Bill Rhiley (R-Wellington) won with a 58-42 percent advantage. HE drew 1,337 votes in the GOP primary, ahead of Judd-Jenkins’ 964. The 80th District covers southwest Cowley County including Arkansas City, plus southeast and far south Sumner County, including the area south of Argonia.
In the statewide race for governor, the GOP race remained too0 close to call Wednesday while it appears the Democrats have their nominee.
Republicans Jeff Colyer and Kris Kobach were still neck-and-neck Wednesday morning. Johnson County – with 25 percent of the state’s population – was slow getting results counted, finally finishing after sunrise Wednesday morning. With all 3,539 precincts in Kansas reporting, Koback led Colyer by just 191 votes out of more than 250,000 votes cast for the two GOP frontrunners. Thousands of provisional ballots remain to be counted, leaving the results undetermined.
Jim Barnett was third among Republican candidates, with 9 percent of the vote.
The GOP winner will face Laura Kelly, who won 52 percent of the votes in the Democratic primary. The Associated Press called the race for Kelly on Tuesday evening.
Voters in both Sedgwick County and Sumner County were favoring Kris Kobach over Jeff Colyer. Brewer was the favorite among Democrats in Sedgwick County, while Kelly had a slight edge of Brewer in Sumner County. Colyer won Johnson County by more than 4,000 votes, but so far it has not been enough to over take the lead the Kobach earned late in the night. The vote count was incredibly close all through Tuesday evening as results came in.
Media reports are noting that there is no law that prohibits Kobach from overseeing the likely recount in his race against Colyer. The Secretary of State is the top election official in Kansas, although each county administers its own election process.
There are a couple county commission races of interest, too.
Richard Ranzau fended off a GOP challenge from Clyde Hugh Nicks by 87 votes (3,455-3,368) in Sedgwick County District 4, a margin of 50.6 percent to 49.4. Ranzau will face Lacey Cruse in the general election. She defeated Michael Kinard in the Democratic primary 57-43 percent.
In Sumner County, John R. Cooney has won the 3rd District seat with 395 votes, beating Jason Boyd (327) and Kip Etter (205).
In other statewide GOP primaries, Vicki Schmidt beat Clark Schulz for Commissioner of Insurance 52-48 percent, while Scott Schwab won a five-person race for Secretary of State with 38 percent of the vote. Randy Duncan and Dennis Taylor were next with 20 percent each. There were no other statewide Democratic primaries.
In the U.S. 4th District race, incumbent Rep. Ron Estes easily beat challenger Ron M. Estes with 81 percent of the vote. On the Democratic side, James A. Thompson – who nearly knocked off the first Estes in the special election to replaced Mike Pompeo – beat Laura Lombard 65-35 percent.