Challenger Bill Rhiley, of Wellington, has unseated Rep. Anita Judd-Jenkins, R-Arkansas City, in one of many hotly contested races Aug. 7.
With all 59 Cowley County precincts reporting unofficial final results, Rhiley collected 852 votes (58.76 percent) to Judd-Jenkins’ 598 (41.24 percent).
With all 39 precincts reporting in Sumner County, Rhiley led with 485 votes to Judd-Jenkins’ 366.
His total margin of victory was 373 votes across the two counties.
Judd-Jenkins just completed her first two-year term in the Kansas House of Representatives after knocking out longtime legislator Kasha Kelley in 2016.
Rhiley is a former special educator who also owns two Sumner County newspapers and a bed-and-breakfast.
On the Republican side of the governor’s race, Secretary of State Kris Kobach maintained a lead over Gov. Jeff Colyer with 1,655 votes in Cowley County (46.06 percent) to Colyer’s 1,422 (39.58 percent).
No other candidate had more than 7 percent of the total Cowley County vote.
The statewide race remains too close to call, with Kobach maintaining a lead of just 191 votes in a race with more than 311,000 votes cast.
A recount almost certainly will follow after the state’s most populous county, Johnson County, experienced long lines and widespread problems with its new voting machines, leading to an all-night counting process that did not end until 8 a.m. Aug. 8, according to The Wichita Eagle.
For the Democrats, Laura Kelly was the Cowley front-runner with 518 votes (40.85 percent), followed by former Wichita mayor Carl Brewer with 421 (33.20 percent) and former state agriculture secretary Josh Svaty with 165 (13.01 percent). Kelly has been declared the primary winner.
Secretary of State
Republican candidate Randy Duncan held a Cowley County lead for the race to replace Kobach, netting 1,161 votes (35.54 percent) to Scott Schwab’s 1,090 (33.36 percent). But Schwab won the statewide race with 38 percent of the votes.
The next closest candidate, Dennis Taylor, collected 13.07 percent of the votes in Cowley County.
U.S. House 4th District
U.S. Rep. Ron Estes, R-Wichita, had a dominant lead in Cowley votes over his challenger of the same name, Ron M. Estes, with 3,024 votes (86.3 percent) to his doppelganger’s 480 (13.7 percent). The incumbent Estes is completing U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s term.
Rep. Estes will advance to face Democrat James Thompson, who led Cowley County voting with 774 votes (62.17 percent) to Laura Lombard’s 471 (37.83 percent). Thompson won the statewide race with 65 percent of the votes.
Commissioner of Insurance
Clark Shultz has the lead in Cowley County votes in the Republican race to replace gubernatorial candidate Ken Selzer as state commissioner of insurance, with 1,706 votes (50.82 percent) to Vicki Schmidt’s 1,651 (49.18 percent). But Schmidt won the statewide vote with 52 percent.