Primary elections in Kansas took place Tuesday night and there was really only one cut and dried race for governor and that was on the Democratic side. State Senator Laura Kelly won, easily besting Wichita mayor Carl Brewer and former Obama administration staffer and Kansas House member Josh Svaty.
“These last eight years in Kansas have been a complete departure from who we are as Kansans,” said Kelly. “Tonight happened because Kansans want change. We’re ready for change. We are hungry for change.”
The Republican race is still too close to call as Secretary of State, Kris Kobach, buoyed by a late endorsement from President Donald Trump may still sneak through over incumbent Governor Jeff Colyer to face Kelly and Independent Greg Orman in the fall, but either way, it looks like that race will be well within the recount parameters, if the loser wants to push the issue and a statement by Governor Jeff Colyer’s campaign appears to leave that door open.
In the Second District Congressional race, political newcomer and Topeka native, Steve Watkins won a seven-way race for the right to carry the Republican banner for the seat Lynn Jenkins is vacating.
Starting right now, our party must join together and turn our sights on defeating Paul Davis,” said Watkins. “In the coming weeks, I hope to sit down with all of my opponents to see how we can best work together to win.”
As for Davis, he plans to keep campaigning like he has.
“Changing the ways of Washington, taking away the special interests influence that we have and getting rid of all the partisan bickering that goes on,” said Davis. “Doing something meaningful about lowering health care costs. Fixing the Affordable Care Act and taking on the drug companies, lowering prescription drug costs and getting this economy really working for working people again.”
The Republicans also had competitive races for Secretary of State and Insurance Commissioner. In the Secretary of State race, House Speaker Pro Tem Scott Schwab won. His mind was not on the ballot box yesterday.
“We did not spend our day caring a whole lot about politics or the campaign,” said Schwab. “Between 1 and 2 o’clock, we lost a son two years ago to that hour. How much we would love to have Caleb on this stage with us. We just took a moment and said God, say hi to him for us. It’s been a day filled with paradox.”
Schwab will face Google Earth and Uber engineer Brian McClendon in the fall. McClendon did not have a primary opponent.
“I think the experience needed in Secretary of State is really around managing the technology and the data associated with the office,” said McClendon. “I believe I’m most qualified.”
In the Republican Insurance Commissioner’s race, state senator Vicki Schmidt will advance to face Nathaniel McLaughlin in the fall.
Current officeholders Republican Attorney General Derek Schmidt and State Treasurer Jake LaTurner did not have primary opponents. They will have Democrats against them in November. Sarah Swain for Schmidt and Marci Francisco for LaTurner.
The other Congressional races on the Republican side were walkovers for the incumbents, as Roger Marshall, Kevin Yoder and Rep. Ron Estes (not to be confused with Ron. M. Estes) won easily.
The other race that is too close to call is the 3rd District Democrat primary as MMA fighter Sharice Davids and former Bernie Sanders staffer Brent Welder are still awaiting Johnson County results.