After the provisional ballots were processed by the county commission on Friday, Craft’s margin of victory over Becker had dwindled from 35 to 31 votes out of 2,301 ballots cast.
Becker said he attributed the loss last Tuesday to complacency among his supporters.
“When people found out about the outcome, they called and said they thought I had it so they did not get out and vote,” Becker said. “They told me they’d like me to do a write-in (campaign), which we will decide by the end of this week.”
Craft, meanwhile, said he felt a combination of his resume, his experience as a former state trooper, plus some dissatisfaction among voters with the current administration, enabled him to win the election.
“It was a team effort from people who helped me and supported me,” he said. “Some were behind the scenes, some were way out front, and some everywhere in between.”
“I just want to thank everybody for their support and putting their trust in me in giving me this opportunity,” Craft said. “It will be well placed.
In the two other contested races, Bob Brookens earned the right to be the Republican candidate for the 70th District seat in the Kansas House of Representatives with a relatively comfortable margin over Roger Hannaford and Bill Spangler.
Brookens carried Marion County with 62 percent of the vote, compared to just under 29 percent for Hannaford and just under 10 percent for Spangler.
Statewide—District 70 also includes Chase County and the northern half of Butler County—Brookens finished with 51 percent of the vote, while Hannaford received 31 percent and Spangler 18 percent.
In the race for county commission, District 3, incumbent Randy Dallke held off challenger Larry Larsen 56 percent to 44 percent. He will face Democrat Aaron Allen in November.
In uncontested races in the primary, and with no Democrat to face in the general election, Susan Robson is all but assured reelection as county attorney, Carol Maggard as clerk, Jo Ottensmeier as register of deeds and Jeanine Bateman as treasurer.
Incumbent Republican Dan Holub and Democratic candidate Jim Herzet were uncontested in their respective primaries for county commission, District 2, and will face each other in the general election.