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The 2014 Primary elections on Tuesday resulted in a few surprising wins in some local races.
One of the bigger surprises in the state was right here in the democratic race for the 42nd Kansas House District. 18-year-old Austin Lee Harris beat out Harold Fevurly Jr. 56% to 44%.
“I knew it would be close, but we are all extremely happy that we came out on top,” an exited Harris Tuesday evening. Harris was a little awestruck when we asked him what it’s like to be one election away from the Kansas State House.
“It’s just a whirlwind,” Harris said. “This just goes to show you that age doesn’t matter. We are proud of this accomplishment.”
Harris now will need to prepare himself to take on a political veteran when he goes against 3 term incumbent Connie O’Brien. “A lot of moderate Republicans feel disenfranchised,” Harris said. “Voters need to take a look at her record and make the best determination of who to vote for.”
Harold Fevurly Jr. was a little taken aback when he learned he lost the election. We contacted Fevurly late Tuesday night for a comment about his loss and his response was simple: “I lost? Well, the voters chose, that’s democracy”.
The other closely contested race involved the Insurance Commissioner’s office. Area resident Beverly Gossage came in a close second to CPA Ken Selzer (Leawood) for the Republican nomination in the race. The field was crowded with 5 contestants running for the GOP nomination. Selzer won the race with 27%, while Gossage pulled 23%. Clark Shultz came in third right behind Gossage also with 23%. David Powell finished a distant fourth with 17% and John Toplikar rounded out the field with 10%. Selzer will now face off against Dennis Anderson (Overland Park), the sole Democrat in the race.
In the 2nd District U.S. House race, Congress woman Lynn Jenkins (R-Topeka) had no problem defeating her opponent Josh Tucker 69% to 31%.
“First of all, I want to thank Joshua Tucker for having the courage to run. It’s a tough business sometimes and while we may have our disagreements I suspect even he would agree that as Republicans we generally agree on the issues that matter most,” Jenkins said in a phone interview with Eudorareporter.com. “I’m glad the primary is behind us and I look forward to the election in November.”
Jenkins will have a fight on her hands. Margie Wakefield (D-Lawrence) who was unopposed in the primary race, has an active campaign against Jenkins going already. Wakefield has come out against many of Jenkins’ votes in the House.
“I haven’t heard what she for yet,” Jenkins said. “I’ve heard what she’s against in regards to my record. I’ve heard her say one day I do nothing and then the next it’s I did this or that. You can’t have it both ways.”
In other races, most came out as expected but the margins of victory were closer than anticipated. Governor Sam Brownback won 63% to 37%. Political pundits told us that while Brownback’s win was all but certain, the margin of victory would be something to watch. Anything below 70% likely means that Brownback may have some difficulty in November in his race against Paul Davis (D-Topeka).
In the Senate race Democrat Chad Taylor (Topeka) narrowly defeated Patrick Wiesner 53% to 47%. On the Republican side, Pat Roberts (Dodge City) edged Milton Wolf (Leawood) 48% to 41%. D.J. Smith finished with 6% and Alvin Zahtner picked up 5%.
For Secretary of State, Kris Kobach (Piper) defeated Scott Morgan (Lawrence) 65% to 35%.