Republicans David Falletti, Christopher Smith and Larry Schwartz all won their respective primaries in unofficial voting results Aug. 2, while Anita Judd-Jenkins had a narrow 140-vote lead in the Kansas House District 80 Republican primary.
There are no Democratic challengers in the three county races, making Tuesday night’s contests winner-take-all.
Falletti defeated Sgt. Doug Allison, of the Cowley County Sheriff’s Office, by more than a 2-to-1 margin, collecting 2,817 votes (68 percent) to Allison’s 1,326 (32 percent). Falletti, a Kansas Bureau of Investigation special agent, will succeed Don Read as the next Cowley County sheriff in January 2017.
“I’d like to thank all of my supporters and those that voted today. I could not have done it without them,” Falletti said.
“I look forward to working with the law enforcement agencies in and around Cowley County, and to serve as the next Cowley County Sheriff.”
Judd-Jenkins narrowly defeated six-term incumbent Rep. Kasha Kelley in Cowley County, posting 878 votes (50.5 percent) to Kelley’s 860 (49.4 percent). In southern Sumner County, Judd-Jenkins had 405 votes to Kelley’s 283.
The 18-vote margin in Cowley County likely will face a recount. Canvassing is set for Aug. 8. The winner will go on to face Caldwell Democrat Michelle Schiltz.
Smith, the outgoing Cowley County attorney, fended off a challenge from City Attorney Tamara Niles for the Division 2 seat in the 19th Judicial District, winning with 2,249 votes (54 percent) to Niles’ 1,888 (46 percent). Smith will replace District Court Judge Jim Pringle at Cowley County District Court in Arkansas City.
“I’d like to thank all those who supported me during this campaign. I am humbled, yet excited to continue my service to Cowley County as your next District Court Judge,” Smith said. “I would like to commend Ms. Niles on a well-run campaign. Again, thank you for this opportunity.”
Schwartz came out on top of a three-man race to replace Smith with more than 55 percent of the vote, netting 2,167 votes to fellow deputy county attorney Matt Wilson’s 1,328 (34 percent) and former assistant attorney Joshua Albin’s 426 (11 percent). Schwartz will take office as the county’s chief prosecutor in January.
“We are pleased at the outcome,” Schwartz said. “I’m thankful that God still has use for me in Cowley County. A special thanks to my wife, Lori, for her support and direction in the campaign, and all those who supported me. Additional thanks to the news outlets who covered the campaign and those who hosted the forums.
“I look forward to further serving the people of Cowley County in my new position and pledge to do my best every day to maintain the trust that they placed in me.”