Congressman Huelskamp Loses Primary Race in Kansas 1st District
HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) — A physician from Great Bend ousted U.S. Representative Tim Huelskamp in the Kansas Republican primary. Obstetrician Roger Marshall won a tough contest Tuesday against tea-party favorite Huelskamp in the 1st District, which spans western and much of central Kansas. There is no Democratic candidate. Farmer and English teacher Alan LaPolice from Cloud County is running as an independent. LaPolice ran for the GOP nomination in 2014, losing a closer-than-expected race against Huelskamp. Huelskamp is one of only a handful of House members ousted in this year's primary season. Marshall was backed by agriculture and business groups in a primary race that focused on the incumbent's battles with GOP leaders.
Huelskamp Blames Outside PACs for Conservative Losses
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — U.S. Representative Tim Huelskamp is calling the Kansas primary "a wave election against conservatives." The Republican incumbent on Wednesday mostly blamed spending by outside super PACS for losing the GOP nomination to Roger Marshall, a political newcomer who had the backing of powerful farming and business groups. But Huelskamp also noted in a conference call with reporters that 11 conservatives also lost their seats in the state Legislature during Tuesday's primary, calling that a shocking number and saying conservatives had a tough night. He says conservatives did poorly all across the state, adding that the poor economy and the bad poll ratings of the state's current governor would have dragged down any conservative.
Marshall Loaned Himself $80K Just Days Before Primary in Kansas 1st
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Finance records show that challenger Roger Marshall loaned his campaign an additional $80,000 only four days before the Republican primary in the 1st Congressional District of western and central Kansas. The transaction last week put Marshall's total personal loans to his campaign at $364,000 going into the final days before Tuesday's primary. Marshall is a Great Bend obstetrician and unseated U.S. RepresentativeTim Huelskamp in the primary. The incumbent's reports show no personal loans to his campaign. Huelskamp's reports show that he raised more than $805,000 in contributions, compared with $732,000 for Marshall outside his personal loans. Campaign finance reports also show that independent groups also spent more than $2.8 million, favoring Marshall by a significant margin.
Several Races Still Extremely Close, Awaiting Official Results
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Five candidates in primary races for seats in the Kansas Legislature are leading their opponents by fewer than 100 votes in final, unofficial results. The closest contest is the Democratic primary in the 76th District in eastern Kansas. Kelly Atherton of Olpe leads Teresa Briggs of Reading by six votes, with 784 cast. Republican Representatives Will Carpenter of El Dorado and Connie O'Brien of Tonganoxie trailed their opponents by fewer than 70 votes. The difference was 24 votes in the Democratic primary in the 98th District in the Wichita area. The candidates were Steven Crum of Haysville and Justin Kraemer of Wichita. And in the GOP primary in the 27th Senate District in Wichita, Representative Gene Suellentrop led Lori Graham by 99 votes out of nearly 8,000 cast.
Backlash in Kansas Ousts Eleven Conservative Lawmakers
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - A top Senate leader and at least 10 other conservative Kansas legislators lost their seats in Republican primary races Tuesday. GOP moderates made the primary election a referendum on education funding and the state's persistent budget woes. Senate Majority Leader Terry Bruce was among the lawmakers ousted amid a backlash against Republican Governor Sam Brownback and his allies. Bruce, from Nickerson, fell in his south-central Kansas district to Ed Berger, former president of Hutchinson Community College. Five other conservative senators lost in races that spanned the state including Tom Arpke of Salina, Forrest Knox of Altoona, Jeff Melcher of Leawood and Greg Smith of Overland Park. At least five conservative Republicans in the House lost their seats as well, all of them in Johnson County. They were Rob Bruchman of Leawood, Brett Hildabrand of Shawnee, Jerry Lunn of Overland Park, Charles Macheers of Shawnee and Craig McPherson of Overland Park.
Top Kansas Democrat Sees Chances for Senate Gains
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Senate's top Democrat says results in Republican primary races have bolstered his belief that Democrats can defeat GOP incumbents in November. Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley of Topeka said there are multiple general election races in which Democratic challengers should be competitive against Republican senators. Democrats will be looking to cut significantly into the GOP's 32-8 majority in the chamber. Hensley said, "I believe that we will be able to change the makeup of the Senate dramatically." Six conservative Republican senators lost their seats in Tuesday's GOP primary. They included Senate Majority Leader Terry Bruce of Nickerson. Even if the GOP retains a big Senate majority, the chamber will be less conservative. Hensley called the results a repudiation of Republican Governor Sam Brownback's tax and budget policies.
GOP Governor's Allies Suffer in Backlash in Kansas Primary
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Governor Sam Brownback assured constituents that the income tax cuts he championed would stimulate the Kansas economy and supply plenty of money for public schools. But voters, including many Republicans, appear to have rejected that idea in the face of the state's budget woes and court battles over education funding. On Tuesday, they ousted 11 of the conservative governor's allies in favor of more centrist candidates. The GOP incumbents who lost in the primary included the Senate's majority leader. Another three conservative House members were trailing Wednesday in still-undecided races. Kansas has struggled to balance its budget since the GOP-dominated Legislature slashed personal income taxes in 2012 and 2013 at Brownback's urging. That created concerns about future spending on schools. Many Republicans regarded school spending as generous.
Attorney is Democratic Nominee in Kansas 4th Congressional District
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A Wichita attorney has captured the Democratic nomination in the 4th Congressional District of south-central Kansas. Dan Giroux narrowly defeated retired Wichita court services officer Robert Tillman in the Democratic contest and will face Republican incumbent Mike Pompeo in the general election. Pompeo was unopposed in the GOP primary. He captured the seat in 2010 and is favored to win a fourth, two-year term in November. Giroux once served as an assistant prosecutor in Sedgwick County. He said when he entered the race that he's running for Congress because he's concerned about the area's economy and has seen most of his 11 brothers and sisters move out of the state. Tillman ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination in 2010 and was the party's nominee in 2012.
Democrats Choose Johnson County Businessman to Challenge Yoder
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) - A Kansas City-area businessman has won the Democratic nomination to challenge Republican congressman Kevin Yoder in Kansas' 3rd District. Jay Sidie of Mission Woods defeated Reggie Marselus of Lenexa and Nathaniel McLaughlin of Kansas City, Kansas, in Tuesday's primary. Sidie formed the Counterpunch Financial investment firm in 2002 after working for energy and agribusiness companies. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has touted him as a strong candidate. Yoder first won the seat in the GOP-leaning 3rd District in 2010 and is favored to win a fourth, two-year term.
Lawrence Attorney is Kansas Democrats' Choice for Senate Run
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A Lawrence attorney has won the Democratic nomination for a chance to face U.S. Senator Jerry Moran in the general election. Patrick Wiesner defeated Monique Singh-Bey of Kansas City, Kansas, in the Democratic primary. During his campaign, Wiesner cited his professional experience with federal law as a tax attorney and Army lawyer. His campaign touted "paying off the government's debt" as his mission and said the first step is ending Washington lobbyists' control of the Senate. Wiesner will face Moran in November's general election. Moran was first elected to the Senate in 2010. He represented Kansas in the House from 1997 to 2010. Kansas hasn't elected a Democrat to the U.S. Senate since 1932.
Kansas Governor Sees 'Anti-Incumbency Sentiment'
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Republican Governor Sam Brownback's chief spokeswoman says the results of Kansas's primary election show that the state is experiencing the same "anti-incumbency sentiment" at play elsewhere in the nation. Brownback spokeswoman Eileen Hawley said in a statement Wednesday that the governor looks forward to working with strong Republican majorities after the November election. Republican moderates had made the election a referendum on the state's ongoing budget problems and battles over education funding. At least 11 conservative GOP legislators lost primary races. They included Senate Majority Leader Terry Bruce of Nickerson. Retired Hutchinson Community College President Ed Berger defeated Bruce and made the state's budget problems the focus of his successful campaign. He said Wednesday that concerns about the budget resonated with voters.
Kansas Statistician Runs Exit Poll at Wichita Voting Station
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A mathematician whose legal effort to audit voting machine results was rebuffed has surveyed primary voters outside a Wichita polling station to see if the official count falls within her survey's calculated margin of error. The Wichita Eagle reports that Wichita State University statistician Beth Clarkson set up the anonymous Citizens Exit Poll to validate the accuracy of voting machines used at a polling station in Tuesday's primary elections. Clarkson went to court to get access to the paper audit trails from voting machines in 2014 after she found what she called inexplicable discrepancies between results of large and small voting stations. A district court ruled Clarkson couldn't have access to those paper trails. Clarkson then decided to create her own paper trail with an exit poll. Sedgwick County Election Commissioner Tabitha Lehman says she welcomed the exit poll.
Texas Reaches Deal on Less-Stringent Voter ID Rules for November
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas has agreed to weaken its voter ID law as federal courts across the U.S. block states from using Republican-imposed election restrictions in November. The agreement between the state and voting rights advocates Wednesday comes after a federal appeals court ruled that Texas's strict voter ID law passed in 2011 discriminates against minorities and the poor. Opponents say more than 600,000 voters lacked a suitable ID under the law. Texas is now willing to let those voters sign an affidavit and cast a ballot. The state will also spend at least $2.5 million on voter outreach. A federal judge must still approve the changes. Voting restrictions in North Carolina, Wisconsin, Kansas and North Dakota have also been blocked in recent weeks.
3 Kansas Sheriff Deputies Cleared in Man's Stun-Gun Death
WAKARUSA, Kan. (AP) — Investigators have cleared three Kansas sheriff's deputies in connection with the 2015 death of a man who collapsed after the deputies shocked him with stun guns during a domestic dispute. Osage County Attorney Brandon Jones released on Wednesday the findings of the probe by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation and Osage County Sheriff's Office in the death of 47-year-old Kenneth Schick. Authorities have said deputies who responded to a reported domestic dispute in October of last year used stun guns and pepper spray to gain control of Schick. Schick later died at a Topeka hospital. Wednesday's report says the investigation of the confrontation found no credible evidence the deputies used unreasonable force on Schick. The report also says Schick placed two deputies in potentially life-threatening situations.
Sedgwick County Deputy Accused of Excessive Force
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A Sedgwick County sheriff's deputy is under investigation amid allegations that used excessive force against an inmate. Sheriff Jeff Easter said Wednesday the deputy faces accusations of excessive force in his handling of an inmate in the Sumner County Jail in Wellington on Monday. Easter says the incident is alleged to have occurred when prisoners were being loaded for transport to Wichita. Sumner County Sheriff Darren Chambers said in a statement that Sumner County Jail staff saw what they felt was "excessive force." The Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office says the inmate wasn't injured. The Wichita Eagle reports that the case is being investigated by Sumner County and will be presented to the Sumner County attorney, who'll decide if charges will be filed.
Kemper Arena in Kansas City to Be Renamed
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kemper Arena in Kansas City is set to be renamed Mosaic Arena. The Kansas City Star reports that the renaming is part of an agreement announced Tuesday between development company Foutch Brothers and Mosaic Life Care. Mosaic Life, a St. Joseph-based health care system, has an initial agreement to become the naming rights sponsor for the arena. The value of the naming rights has not been disclosed. Foutch plans to repurpose the arena into a regional amateur sports facility. Mosaic Life, which has an expanding group of clinics, says it will open an on-site medical clinic at the arena that will be open to the public. The clinic will include sports medicine, massages and urgent care. Plans for turning the space into a sports facility are still being vetted.
Shots Fired into Unoccupied Kansas Sheriff's Patrol Car
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say several shots were fired into an unoccupied patrol car belonging to the Wyandotte County Sheriff's office. The sheriff's department says the patrol car was parked in an off-duty deputy's driveway in Kansas City, Kansas, when the shots were fired early Wednesday. The Kansas City Star reports that no one was hurt. Someone who lives nearby called authorities to report hearing the sound of gunfire. The sheriff's office says it appears about a half dozen shots were fired into the car. Kansas City, Kansas police are investigating.
Student Sues over Sexual Battery at a Wichita High School
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A student who was sexually battered in the bathroom of a Wichita high school is suing the principal and school board for negligence.The Wichita Eagle reports that the suit filed in Sedgwick County District Court cites unsafe security practices at Wichita East High School, where the student was assaulted in September. The Eagle and The Associated don't normally name victims of sex crimes.Twenty-nine-year-old Guy Harris is awaiting sentencing for sexual battery after pleading guilty to the misdemeanor last month. Police have said Harris groped an 18-year-old female student after entering the school and following her into the restroom while classes were in session. District spokeswoman Wendy Johnson said in an email that the district is "committed to the safety of all Wichita Public Schools students and staff."
Police: Man Sought in Des Moines Slaying Arrested in Kansas
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A 28-year-old man suspected in a fatal Des Moines shooting has been arrested in Kansas. Des Moines police said in a news release Wednesday that Steven Asbury was being held in Wichita on a material witness warrant. Police say that once he's returned to Des Moines, he'll be charged with first-degree murder. Online court records don't list the name of an attorney who could comment on his behalf. Police announced July 27 that officers were trying to find Asbury. Police say 41-year-old James Patton died at a hospital after being found shot in a parking lot on July 21.
Man Shot to Death in El Dorado
EL DORADO, Kan. (AP) — Police are investigating a deadly shooting in southern Kansas. The Wichita Eagle reports that the shooting happened late Monday night in El Dorado. Police Lieutenant Maggie Schreiber said in a written statement that the victim was in his mid-50s. He had multiple gunshot wounds and was pronounced dead at the scene. Schreiber says two "persons of interest" have been taken into custody and are being interviewed. The victim's name is being withheld pending the notification of relatives. She says the crime scene is still being processed.
Pit Bull Quarantined After Attacking Mail Carrier in Wichita
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A pit bull is quarantined after attacking a U.S. postal carrier at a south Wichita home and leaving him with 26 stitches. The Wichita Eagle reports that the 53-year-old carrier was bitten Friday morning after the dog pushed through a fence weakened by wet soil. Wichita police Lieutenant Joe Schroeder, who oversees the city's animal control operations, says the pit bull had bitten someone in the neighborhood previously, but that person didn't want to pursue charges. He says the owner of the dog could face a charge, most likely a misdemeanor, for the bites. The dog will be quarantined for 10 days to determine whether it has rabies. If the pit bull is found to be highly dangerous, the owner could be forced to confine or muzzle the dog.
Serrano-Vitorino to Get New Judge in Missouri Murder Trial
MONTGOMERY CITY, Mo. (AP) — A 40-year-old man accused of killing a Missouri man and four Kansas residents earlier this year will get a new judge in his Missouri trial. Pablo Serrano-Vitorino has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in the March 8 shooting death of Randy Nordman in New Florence. Missouri prosecutors have announced plans to seek the death penalty in the case. Serrano-Vitorino also is charged in Kansas with killing a Kansas City, Kansas neighbor and three other men at the neighbor's home on March 7. KOMU reports that at a hearing Wednesday, a Montgomery County judge granted Serrano-Vitorino's request for a new judge. Serrano-Vitorino also asked for a change of venue, but that request will be taken up by the new judge, who has not been assigned yet.
Woman Admits Stealing $5.3 Million from KC Architecture Firm
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) _ A suburban Kansas City woman admits stealing nearly $5.3 million from a prominent architecture company where she worked for nearly two decades. U.S. Attorney Tammy Dickenson says 53-year-old Jane Barnes of Lee's Summit pleaded guilty Tuesday to wire fraud, bank fraud and aggravated identity theft. Dickenson says Barnes admitted conducting two schemes to embezzle money from ACI Boland Architects, where she started working in 1998 and became office manager in 2008. She used the payroll system to inflate her salary by at least $1.6 million from 2006 to 2011 and created unauthorized payroll checks to herself of more than $3.6 million from 2010 until her resignation in March. Barnes faces up to 20 years in prison for wire fraud, 30 years for bank fraud and two years for identity theft.
Former Fort Riley Soldier Sentenced to Prison for Identity Theft
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A former U.S. Army private who'd been stationed in Kansas has been ordered to spend two years in federal prison after he admitted stealing the identifies of fellow soldiers. Twenty-four-year-old Todd Newbrough pleaded guilty Tuesday in Topeka to one count of aggravated identity theft. Newbrough also was ordered to pay more than $23,400 in restitution. Authorities say Newbrough admitted he used his Army position to access personal information about fellow soldiers in his unit at Fort Riley, and then used that information to obtain credit cards and credit lines in the soldiers' names.
Perez Homer Lifts Royals to 3-2 Win over Rays
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Kansas City Royals' catcher Salvador Perez hit a two-run homer in the seventh inning to carry the Royals to a 3-2 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday night. Perez's 16th homer came off Xavier Cedeno (3-3) after a single by Eric Hosmer. It lifted the Royals to their 12th win in their last 13 games against Tampa Bay. Chris Young (3-8) got the win in relief, and Kelvin Herrera pitched the ninth for his third save. The Rays scored twice in the fifth off starter Yordano Ventura without hitting the ball to the outfield. Logan Forsythe had three hits for the Rays, who left 11 on base and went 1 for 14 with runners in scoring position.