County counters state trends in high-profile races

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN DON RATZLAFF
Marion County voters swam against the tide in the two high-profile statewide races in last Tuesday’s mid-term general election.

While voters across Kansas were validating a second-term ticket for Democratic incumbent Gov. Kathleen Sebelius by a margin of around 20 percentage points, local voters supported their “hometown” challenger, Republican Jim Barnett by 16 percentage points.

Sebelius received only 41 percent of the votes cast in Marion County (1,856) while Barnett, the Emporia physician who represents the county in the Kansas Senate, drew 57 percent (2,563).

In the same way, while the state as a whole was ousting incumbent Republican Phill Kline as attorney general by about 17 percentage points in favor of Democrat Paul Morrison, Marion County voters gave Kline the edge by 10 percent points, 55 to 45 (2,413 to 1,961).

In all other national and statewide races, Marion County fell in step with the rest of Kansas by handing the incumbent Republicans comfortable victories.

Each of the GOP winners-Jerry Moran for Congress, Ron Thornburgh for secretary of state, Lynn Jenkins for treasurer, and Sandy Praeger for commissioner of insurance-won in Marion County by even larger margins than were recorded statewide.

Meanwhile, unopposed incumbents Don Dahl and Bob Hein, both of Hillsboro, were easily reelected to their respective positions as state representative for 70th District and county commissioner for District 1.

In a local election of interest, Peabody residents approved a city sales tax by margin of 60 percent to 40 percent.

And, not surprisingly, Marion County voted to retain all 14 judges listed on the ballot. But the consistent percentages voting “no”-around 27 percent-suggested a block of voters with a “throw-them-all-out” mindset.

As of Oct. 1, the secretary of state was reporting 8,874 registered voters in Marion County. Of those, 5,111 (57.5 percent) were registered as Republicans and 2,070 (23.3 percent) as Democrats.

A total of 4,534 ballots were cast in Marion County in last week’s election. That would represent about 51 percent of those registered as of Oct. 1.

* * *

Following are the results of township elections. (Write-in votes are in parentheses).

Blaine: (8)

Catlin: Ernest Gray 68; (0).

Centre: Gordon Groening 196; (1).

Clark: (9).

Clear Creek: (11)

Colfax: (5).

Doyle: Joshua W. Inlow 16; (0).

Durham Park: Gary Unruh 63; (1).

East Branch: Lowell Heinrichs 62; (1).

Fairplay: John C. Padgett 60; (2).

Gale: (6).

Grant: (4).

Lehigh: (5).

Liberty: (18).

Logan: (4).

Lost Springs: (10).

Menno: (12).

Milton: (4).

Moore: (3).

Risley: Raymond Brandt 78; (5).

Summit: Shayla Clark 34; (0).

West Branch: Wilfred H. Unruh 313; (4).

Wilson: (7).

Peabody East: (6).

Peabody West (12).

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