This is a VERY IMPORTANT election - with many positions determined by the primary election. Check out your ballot today at myvoteinfo.voteks.org .
Select the Registration Information tab, then enter your county, first and last name, and birthdate. It will pull up two ballots, one for the Democrat primary and one for the Republican primary. They are indicated by a three digit number.
Follow your local candidates on Facebook and check out their websites to see what they stand for. Most local newspapers have published articles about local candidates that you can read. If you need help or want to know more about the candidates in your area, feel free to contact KABR. We are happy to share information. Do you have information about a candidate that we should know about? Tell us!
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The Governor’s Race: The hotly contended primaries for the Governor’s office have attracted most of the attention and campaign funds for the 2018 Election thus far. Governor Jeff Colyer has touted the positive fiscal condition of the State government and his conservative principles, while Kobach claims he is the true conservative in the race, with the just announced backing of President Trump. These two seem to be the poll leaders and a recent commercial from the Colyer campaign urges voters to avoid casting their votes for any of the other candidates in this large field, claiming it would tilt the race to Kobach, who wants to return to the Brownback tax cuts. Republican primary voters do tend toward the conservative – which leaves an interesting quandary for more moderate Republicans. Do they vote for Barnett, who vows to support reasonable education funding and Medicaid expansion, or stick with Colyer, who has consistently supported most of Brownback’s policies? If they reject Colyer, are they assuring a Kobach primary win as the commercial claims?
The leaders in the Democrat primary are likely Senator Laura Kelly, former Ag Secretary Josh Svaty, and former Wichita mayor Carl Brewer. The candidates have mostly similar views. Kelly has strong name recognition as a long time legislator experienced with state budget issues and health care. Svaty attracts many younger more progressive Democrats and has strong rural ties. Brewer is well known and liked in south central Kansas, primarily Wichita.
The winners of these primaries will face off in November in a three way race with an Independent candidate – expected to be Greg Orman.
The Republican contenders are as follows:
Current Governor and former Lt. Governor Jeff Colyer, M.D. (R-Overland Park) with Lt. Governor candidate Tracy Mann
Current Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R-Lecompton) with Lt. Governor candidate Wink Hartman
Current Insurance Commissioner Ken Selzer (R-Leawood) with Lt. Governor candidate Jenifer Sanderson
Former Senator Jim Barnett, M.D. (R-Topeka) with Lt. Governor candidate Rosie Hansen (his wife)
Patrick “PK” Kucera (R-Overland Park) and Lt. Governor candidate Patricia Reitz
Tyler Ruzich (R-Prairie Village) with Lt. Governor candidate Dominic Scavuzzo
Joseph Tutera (R- Mission Hills) with Lt. Governor candidate Phillip Clemente
The Democrat candidates are as follows:
Senator Laura Kelly (D-Topeka) and Lt. Governor candidate Lynn Rogers (also a current senator)
Former State Secretary of Agriculture Josh Svaty (D-Ellsworth) and Lt. Governor candidate Katrina Gier Lewison
Former Wichita mayor Carl Brewer (D-Wichita) and Lt. Governor candidate Chris Morrow
Jack Bergeson (D-Wichita) and Lt. Governor candidate Alexander Cline
Arden Anderson (D-Olathe) and Lt. Governor candidate Dale Cowsert
Congressional Races: The races for the US House of Representatives have multiple candidates as well, with the District 2 race to fill the seat retired by Rep. Lynn Jenkins attracting the most attention. Candidates include three current state senators: Caryn Tyson (R-Parker), Steve Fitzgerald (R-Leavenworth) and Dennis Pyle (R-Hiawatha). Current state representative Kevin Jones (R-Wellsville) and former House Speaker Doug Mays (R-Topeka) are also in the race. Controversy has been raised by a relatively unknown candidate Steve Watkins (R-Topeka) who has become very visible with signs all over Topeka and plenty of purchased television commercials. Watkins appears to be very well funded by his father and his campaign attracted a lot of criticism when it accused Tyson of voting for tax increases. Tyson is the current Senate Taxation Committee Chair and is well known for her anti-tax position – her campaign has called for a retraction from Watkins. This field also include Vernon Fields (R-Basehor). The winner will face former Rep. Paul Davis (D-Lawrence) who ran for Governor in 2014.
The incumbents are expected to win the other congressional races, although some think Kevin Yoder (District 3) could have a tough general election. District 1 Roger Marshall (R-Great Bend) faces Nick Reinecker (R-Inman). District 4 Rep. Ron Estes (R-Wichita) faces Ron M. Estes (R-Wichita). Rep. Estes had to receive special permission to use his title as the incumbent Representative on the ballot to differentiate himself from the challenger.
This Is It: There are 16 statehouse races that have only a primary race – in other words, the candidate who wins on August 7 will be the winning Representative. There is no general election opposition filed for the seat. 12 of these are Republican races and 3 are Democrat.
District 6 – Rep. Jene Vickrey (R-Louisburg) faces challenger Clifford Blackmore (R-Paola). Vickrey is a former House Majority Leader with very conservative credentials.
District 11 – Rep. Jim Kelly (R-Independence) faces challenger John Lowrance (R-Independence).
District 12 – Rep. Doug Blex (R-Independence) faces challenger Brad Hall (R-Independence)
District 13 – Rep. Larry Hibbard (R-Toronto) faces challenger Londa Tindle (R-Fredonia).
District 22 – Rep. Nancy Lusk (D-Overland Park) faces challenger Michael L. Coleman III (D-Overland Park).
District 46 – Rep. Boog Highberger (D-Lawrence) faces challenger Benjamin Ferlo (D-Lawrence). Highberger is a former Lawrence mayor
District 55 – Rep. Annie Kuether (D-Topeka) faces challenger Joseph Stringer (D-Topeka). Stringer has taken on Kuether a couple of times in years past, but as a Republican.
District 64 – Rep. Susan “Suzi” Swanson (R-Clay Center) faces challenger Kathy Martin (R-Clay Center).
District 74 – Rep. Don Schroeder (R-Hesston) faces challenger Stephen Owens (R-Hesston).
District 75 – Current Rep. Mary Martha Good (R-El Dorado) faces a challenger from former Rep. Will Carpenter (R-El Dorado). Good beat Carpenter in the 2016 election as a more moderate leaning candidate.
District 80 – Rep. Anita Judd-Jenkins (R-Arkansas City) faces challenger Bill Rhiley (R-Welllington)
District 87 – This seat is retired by Roger Elliot. Renee Erickson (R-Wichita) takes on Jeff Kennedy (R-Wichita).
District 89 – Rep. KC Ohaebosim (D-Wichita) faces two challengers from Wichita – LeSean Tarkington and Marty Keenan. Keenan has run for the Legislature several times in the past without success.
District 104 – Rep. Steven Becker (R-Buhler) faces challenger Paul Waggoner (R-Hutchinson).
District 107 – Rep. Susan Concannon (R-Beloit) faces challenger Sam Sacco (R-Concordia).
District 124 – Position was retired by Rep. Steve Alford. Jeffrey G. Locke (R-Sublette) faces Martin “Marty” Long (R-Ulysses).
There are several House races with conservative candidates attempting to unseat more moderate Republicans that won in 2016, there are also a number of open seats available. Here are some of those from Johnson County:
District 8 – Rep. Patty Markley faces Chris Croft
District 14 – Charlotte Esau is running for the House seat held by her husband Keith Esau as he seeks the Secretary of State’s office. Aaron Young and Tom Stanion are also seeking the position. Stanion seems to be the more moderate candidate, with Esau holding conservative endorsements.
District 17 – Rep. Tom Cox faces Jim Eschrich
District 27 – Rep. Sean Tarwater is a one term legislator who replaced House Speaker Merrick when he retired. His challengers include Karen Snyder, an education proponent, and Rochelle Bird, who calls herself an “authentic conservative”.
District 28 – Rep. Joy Koesten faces Kellie Warren, who has received conservative endorsements. Koesten supported increased education funding and behavioral health programs.
District 30 – Rep. Randy Powell is retiring this position. Colleen Webster, with moderate credentials, is facing Wendy Bingesser, who is endorsed by conservative groups. There is also a Democrat primary for this seat with Matthew Calcara and Brandon Woodard running.
District 39 – Rep. Shelee Brim is not running for reelection. She endorsed Kristy Acree who must face former conservative representative Owen Donohue.
District 49 – House Speaker Pro Tem Scott Schwab is running for Secretary of State. Megan Lynn is running for his seat against Fsehazion Desalegn. Lynn has been endorsed by Schwab.
If you have questions about the races on your ballot, do not hesitate to reach out to us. Contact Amy at 785-969-1617 or firstname.lastname@example.org.