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Laura Kelly Wins Democratic Nomination, But Who Will She Face in November? Plus More Election Results

Check back later for more updates or... visit our partners at the Kansas News Service who are updating another election results page.

Visit the Kansas Secretary of State's election results webpage.

UPDATED POST... as of 11:10 a.m. Wednesday

Did Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach Win the GOP Nomination for Governor?  Maybe

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach appears to have won the GOP nomination for governor. As the Lawrence Journal-World reports, the Republican primary was too close to call all night long, due to slow ballot counting in Johnson County. Election officials halted the vote count early this (WED) morning but Kobach was leading incumbent Governor Jeff Colyer by fewer than 200 votes. It could still be a few days before all absentee votes are counted. A new state law allows ballots postmarked as of Tuesday to be counted, so long as they arrive three days after Election Day. Kobach received a late endorsement from President Donald Trump. Colyer received the endorsement of the National Rifle Association and had the backing of Kansas political legend Bob Dole. Kansas has no automatic recount and if a recount is requested it must be paid for by the candidate requesting it. The race was a test of whether President Donald Trump's late endorsement can push his ally Kobach to victory. Kobach has advised the White House and served as vice chairman of a now-disbanded presidential commission on election fraud. Colyer became governor in January, succeeding Sam Brownback. 

A Kansas official says long lines at some polling places delayed the reporting of election results in the state's most populous county. State elections director Bryan Caskey said Tuesday night that some polling places in Johnson County remained open until about 8 p.m. to accommodate people who were in line to vote when polls officially closed at 7 pm. He said that led local officials to delay reporting their first results, from votes cast in advance. Johnson County has nearly 408,000 registered voters, or almost 23 percent of the state's total of 1.8 million. The delay in reporting results came as Secretary of State Kris Kobach and Gov. Jeff Colyer were locked in a tight race for the Republican nomination for governor. In the last count, Kobach led the race by fewer than 200 votes. Whoever winds up with the GOP nomination will face State Senator Laura Kelly, of Topeka, in November. 

(-Related-)

State Senator Laura Kelly Captures Democratic Nomination for Governor

State Senator Laura Kelly captured the Democratic nomination for governor by a wide margin Tuesday night. Kelly is a veteran Kansas legislator who campaigned on her Statehouse experience and fended off questions about her voting record. Kelly defeated former Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer, former Kansas Agriculture Secretary Joshua Svaty and two other candidates Tuesday. The 68-year-old Kelly has served 14 years in the Senate and is the top Democrat on the budget committee. She stressed her credentials in running and suggested that she was best able to fix problems created by Republican policies. She faced criticism from Svaty and Brewer for votes she made in representing a GOP-leaning district for looser gun laws and for some of the nation's toughest voter identification requirements. But she also had the backing of former two-term Democratic Governor Kathleen Sebelius.

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Political Newcomer Steve Watkins Wins GOP Nomination in 2nd Congressional District

Army veteran Steve Watkins has won the Republican nomination in the 2nd Congressional District of eastern Kansas in his first run for political office. Watkins, from Topeka, prevailed Tuesday in a field of seven candidates that included four state legislators and a former Kansas House speaker. He will face Democrat Paul Davis in the November election. Davis is a Lawrence attorney and a former Kansas House minority leader who narrowly lost the 2014 governor's race to Republican incumbent Sam Brownback. Watkins won after his physician-father formed a political action committee that spent at least $570,000 to help him. The younger Watkins also emphasized his outsider status and military service in Afghanistan. The 2nd District seat is open because five-term Republican incumbent Lynn Jenkins did not seek re-election.

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Kansas Democrat Sharice Davids to face 3rd District GOP Congressman Kevin Yoder

Sharice Davids has become Kansas' first Native American and gay nominee for Congress. The 38-year-old attorney and activist prevailed in a close six-candidate Democratic primary and will face four-term Republican Congressman Kevin Yoder. Davids also is a former mixed martial arts fighter who introduced herself to fellow Democrats with a video showing her in the ring and landing solid kicks to a large punching bag. She was raised by a single mother and earned a law degree from Cornell University. She was a White House fellow during Barack Obama's presidency. Democrats are targeting Yoder this fall because Democrat Hillary Clinton narrowly won the district in the 2016 presidential race.

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Kansas GOP 4th District Congressman Ron Estes to Face Democrat James Thompson... Again

James Thompson has won the Democratic nomination for a congressional seat in Kansas that he first sought last year in a special election after now Secretary of State Mike Pompeo joined the Trump administration. The Wichita Democrat advances to a November matchup with Republican Representative Ron Estes. Thompson, a Wichita civil rights attorney, held Estes to a single-digit victory in the nation's first congressional special election last year after President Donald Trump took office. Thompson defeated Laura Lombard in the Democratic primary. Democratic socialist rising star Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez traveled to Wichita during the race to join Senator Bernie Sanders at a campaign event for Thompson as Democrats look to flip a congressional seat once considered safely Republican.

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Kansas GOP Congressman Roger Marshall to Face Democrat Alan LaPolice in Big 1st this Fall

Kansas Congressman Roger Marshall has won the Republican primary in the sprawling rural 1st District of western and central Kansas. He advances for a November matchup against Democrat Alan LaPolice of Clyde in the heavily Republican agricultural district. Marshall, a Great Bend physician, first gained national attention in 2016 for knocking off then Rep. Tim Huelskamp in the Republican primary for the seat. Democrats did not have a candidate in 2016, but LaPolice launched a long-shot bid as an independent. LaPolice, an educator, is taking another shot at it this year running as a Democrat. While the district strongly supported President Donald Trump in 2016, some worry tougher immigration policies make it harder to fill agricultural jobs. Marshall wants to couple border-security measures with changes in visas for guest farm workers.

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Vickie Scmidt Wins GOP Nomination for Insurance Commissioner; Faces Democrat Nathaniel McLaughlin in November

State Senator Vicki Schmidt has won the Republican primary for insurance commissioner in Kansas, advancing to face Democrat Nathaniel McLaughlin in a November matchup to become the state's top insurance regulator. Kansas Insurance Commissioner Ken Selzer sought the Republican nomination for governor in Tuesday's primary, creating a wide open race for the state's top insurance regulator. Schmidt defeated Selzer's top deputy, Assistant Insurance Commissioner Clark Shultz, to capture the Republican nomination. McLaughlin ran unopposed in the Democratic primary. Schmidt, a pharmacist and the Senate's lead negotiator on health issues, chairs the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee. As a pharmacist, she says she deals with health insurance problems every day, and sees the effect of rising health care costs on families and seniors.

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Scott Schwab Gets GOP Nomination for Kansas Secretary of State; Faces Democrat Brian McClendon in November

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — State Representative Scott Schwab, best known as the father of a boy who died in a Kansas City water park accident, has won the Republican primary for secretary of state. Schwab prevailed in a five-person race Tuesday for the GOP nomination. He is the Kansas House speaker pro tem and has served 14 years in the Legislature. His 10-year-old son, Caleb, was killed in August 2016 while riding on what was billed as the world's tallest waterslide at the Schlitterbahn park in Kansas City, Kansas. Schwab is from Olathe and will face Democrat Brian McClendon, a former Uber and Google executive from Lawrence. The GOP hasn't lost a secretary of state's race since 1948.

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(Original post)

Veteran Kansas Lawmaker Wins Democratic Nomination for Governor
By JOHN HANNA, AP Political Writer

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A veteran state lawmaker won the Democratic nomination for governor Tuesday by tens of thousands of votes but the Republican race was much closer between Governor Jeff Colyer and Secretary of State Kris Kobach.

     + Two Republican U.S. House members won primaries with one of them facing a rematch with a Democratic opponent he beat in a special election last year.

     + Republican voters were also picking a nominee for two open statewide offices and their candidate for an open congressional seat that has been targeted by Democrats.

     + Democrats also were choosing from a crowded field for the party's nomination in a Kansas City-area district held by a Republican

What to know about the election:

PRIMARIES FOR KANSAS GOVERNOR

A veteran Kansas legislator won the Democratic primary for governor after stressing her Statehouse experience and fending off questions about her voting record. State Senator Laura Kelly of Topeka defeated former Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer, former Kansas Agriculture Secretary Joshua Svaty and two other candidates Tuesday. The 68-year-old Kelly has served 14 years in the Senate and is the top Democrat on the budget committee. She stressed those credentials in running and suggested that she was best able to fix problems created by Republican policies.

In the Republican primary, Governor Jeff Colyer was still locked in a tight race, late Tuesday night, with Kris Kobach, the conservative agitator for strict immigration and voter ID laws who has advised President Donald Trump and was endorsed by him.

TAKING ON KANSAS 3RD DISTRICT CONGRESSMAN KEVIN YODER

Democrats are targeting GOP Congressman Kevin Yoder because Hillary Clinton narrowly carried his 3rd Congressional District in the 2016 presidential election and Yoder won a closer-than-expected race against a relatively unknown Democrat. Six Democrats were on the ballot, showcasing the debate within the party over how far left its candidates should go to tap the energy of liberal activists and opponents of President Donald Trump. Sanders, the patriarch of the democratic socialist movement, and New York congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the movement's rising star, campaigned for Brent Welder, a Kansas City, Kansas, labor attorney. But Sharice Davids, another Kansas City, Kansas, attorney, attracted considerable attention as both a Native American and gay candidate with strong liberal credentials. And other Democrats were rallying behind Tom Niermann, a Prairie Village teacher, seen as more of a centrist.

OPEN HOUSE SEAT IN KANSAS 2ND DISTRICT

In the 2nd Congressional District of eastern Kansas, five-term Republican Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins did not seek re-election, setting up both a seven-candidate scramble for the GOP nomination and an opportunity for Democrats to pick up an otherwise out-of-reach seat. Their nominee is former Kansas House Minority Leader Paul Davis, who narrowly lost the 2014 governor's race. The Republican field includes four state legislators and an ex-Kansas House speaker. But they weren't as visible in the final weeks as Army veteran and political newcomer Steve Watkins, who benefited from television ads from a political action committee formed by his father.

OTHER RACES FOR CONGRESS IN KANSAS

In the 4th District in the Wichita area, civil rights attorney James Thompson defeated businesswoman Laura Lombard in the Democratic primary for the right to challenge Republican Congressman Ron Estes. Estes won a closer-than-expected special election in April 2017 against Thompson, and he won his Tuesday primary against a political novice who shares his name.

In the 1st District of western and central Kansas, freshman Representative Roger Marshall defeated an unknown GOP primary challenger.

KANSAS SECRETARY OF STATE

Republican Secretary of State Kris Kobach is running for governor, and five GOP candidates are running to replace him. They included Kansas House Speaker Pro Tem Scott Schwab and House Elections Committee Chairman Keith Esau, both from Olathe, and Craig McCullah, a former Kobach deputy. The winner of the Republican race will face Democrat Brian McClendon, a former Google and Uber executive from Lawrence.

KANSAS INSURANCE COMMISSIONER

Insurance Commissioner Ken Selzer also is running for governor, and Assistant Commissioner Clark Shultz is hoping to replace him. But Shultz faces state Sen. Vicki Schmidt, of Topeka, chairwoman of the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee, in the GOP primary. The winner will face Democrat Nathaniel McLaughlin, a retired health industry executive from Kansas City, Kansas.

Find the latest Kansas election results on the Secretary of State's elections results webpage.

Follow John Hanna on Twitter.

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