One week ago, Kansas citizens wound their way to the polls to cast their votes in the 2020 primary election. The Kansas race that drew the most attention was for U.S. Senate in which Republican U.S. Rep. Roger Marshall distanced himself from 10 other primary hopefuls. His main competition (Kris Kobach, Bob Hamilton & David Linstrom) had decent showings, but none were able to crack the 30 percent mark. Marshall heads to the general election against the Democratic nominee State Senator Barbara Bollier who coasted to the democratic nomination with 86 percent of the vote. At this moment Bollier has a fundraising advantage over Marshall but Marshall has time to catch up. It has been over 80 years since Kansas sent a Democrat to the U.S. Senate.
The other big election was the three-man race for the 2nd Congressional District. Here, State Treasurer Jake LaTurner outpaced incumbent Steve Watkins and Dennis Taylor. LaTurner, a Republican, will face off against Democratic candidate, Topeka Mayor Michelle De La Isla.
The local primary races saw conservative Republicans win six of seven contested races against incumbents.
Senator Primary Winner
Ed Berger R-Hutchinson Mark Steffen, R-Hutchinson
Bruce Givens R-El Dorado Michael Fagg, R-El Dorado
Dan Goddard R-Parsons Virgil Peck, R-Havana
Randall Hardy R-Salina Rep. J.R. Claeys, R-Salina
John Skubal R-Overland Park Rep. Kellie Warren, R-Leawood
Mary Jo Taylor R-Stafford Rep. Alicia Straub, R-Ellinwood
Rep. Brenda Dietrich was able to defeat incumbent Sen. Erik Rucker in Senate District 20.
The House saw a similar pattern with conservative Republicans outpacing their more moderate counterparts.
Representative Primary Winner
Diana Dierks R-Salina Steven Howe, R-Salina
Jim Karleskint R-Tonganoxie Lance Neelly, R-Tonganoxie
Jan Kessinger R-Overland Park Jane Dirks, R-Overland Park
J.C. Moore R-Clearwater Brian Bergkamp, R-Haysville
Incumbent democrats may only lose one race where Rep. Stan Frownfelter is losing to Aaron Coleman by a single vote; a recount appears inevitable.
Democrats are optimistic about their general election chances in the Senate but even a strong showing leaves conservative in charge. It will create difficulties for Medicaid Expansion, budget issues and COVID response. Gov. Kelly will most likely have to deal with an even more conservative legislative branch for the next 24 months.