Polls closed last week but the Republican candidate for Governor is still up for grabs, and the race is only getting closer.
Coming into this week, 110 votes separated Secretary of State Kris Kobach from Governor Jeff Colyer in a contentious gubernatorial primary race. This is a lead of less than a tenth of a percent across the state for Kobach, whose office is tasked with certifying the election.
The gap continued to narrow as provisional ballots were tabulated in Marion County. The Marion County Board of Election Canvassers, led by Marion County Commission Chair Dianne Novak, certified the election results Monday.
Colyer picked up an additional two votes over Kobach in the county. Seven provisional votes went to Colyer, five to Kobach. This brings the county total to 867 for Colyer, 723 for Kobach.
The winner of the Republican primary, either Kobach or Colyer, will face Democratic nominee Laura Kelly and independent candidate Greg Orman in November. Kelly is a state senator from Topeka. Orman is a businessman from Johnson County.
In other area races, incumbent Don Schroeder lost his reelection bid for Kansas House of Representatives District 74. Hesston businessman Stephen Owens unseated Schroeder, picking up 55 percent of the vote in Marion County.
Owens will be uncontested in the November general election.
Congressman Roger Marshall won his primary against challenger Nick Reinecker of Inman for the Kansas District One seat in the United States House of Representatives. Marshall picked up close to 76 percent of the vote in Marion County.
Marshall will face Democrat Alan LaPolice in the general election. LaPolice mounted an unsuccessful independent run against Marshall in 2016.
Results in Marion County pretty well reflected those across the state. All but two candidates – possibly three, depending on gubernatorial results – who won their race also won in Marion County.
Despite picking up close to 60 percent of the vote in Marion County, candidate for state Commissioner of Insurance Clark Shultz lost to state legislator Vicki Schmidt by about four percent statewide.
State Board of Education candidate Robert M D’Andrea picked up 57 percent of the vote in Marion County but still lost to Ben Jones.
The official results were certified after close to two and a half hours of canvassing in the Marion County Courthouse on Monday morning.
The state has until Aug. 31 to certify the official results of the election. A recount may still be requested, however. If Marion County is selected to recount its votes, the county would be given five days to do so and re-submit the results to the state.
Official Marion County results:
Republican – Jeff Colyer 867, Kris Kobach 723, Ken Selzer 366, Jim Barnett 246, Patrick Kucera 8, Tyler Ruzich 6, Joseph Tutera 4
Democratic – *Laura Kelly 200, Carl Brewer 118, Joshua Svaty 75, Arden Anderson 11, Jack Bergeson 8
United States House of Representatives District 1:
Republican – *Roger Marshall 1,612, Nick Reinecker 515
Democratic – *Alan LaPolice 342
Kansas Secretary of State:
Republican – *Scott Schwab 669, Randy Duncan 613, Keith Esau 262, Dennis Taylor 243, Craig McCullah 204
Democratic – *Brian “BAM” McClendon 359
Commissioner of Insurance:
Republican – Clark Schultz 1,221, *Vicki Schmidt 897
Democratic – *Nathaniel McLaughlin 358
Kansas Attorney General:
Republican – *Derek Schmidt 1,981
Democratic – *Sarah Swain 369
Republican – Jake LaTurner 1,896
Democratic – Marci Francisco 371