The election for the 17th District’s state senate seat came down to a close finish Tuesday night with Jeff Longbine defeating Jerry Karr with 56 percent of the vote, according to the Kansas Secretary of State’s website.
“I had a formidable opponent but I knew that we had to work extremely hard,” Longbine said.
Both campaign offices had large crowds representing both parties and were watching the vote closely as the numbers came in Tuesday night. After waiting and tallying the votes, Karr won Lyon County but the other six counties represented in the district went to Longbine.
“I did work extremely hard in all the counties and I had great volunteers in the counties… and that really made a difference in the end all the help and support I got,” Longbine said.
Both candidates faced a tough election this year because of the greatly abbreviated time for campaigning. With only five weeks to get the word out, instead of the normal six months, both candidates had to rely on support to get the word out. Both candidates said they were pleased with their campaigners who worked hard even under such constraints.
“The way (the Democrats) are able to win is primarily by retailing, which is to meet as many voters as possible and when you only have five weeks… that’s hard,” Karr said.
Karr said he was pleased with the campaign and the great support he received. He said he looks forward to more service opportunities in the future.
Longbine has made funding for K-12 and higher education, a top priority in addition to economic growth and managing the budget. He is looking to create more jobs in the private sector for young people in the area and to increase state revenue.
Other winners in the general election according to The Secretary of State’s website include Jerry Moran for the United States Senate seat with 70 percent of the vote, Tim Huelskamp for the United States House of Representatives with 74 percent of the vote, Sam Brownback for Governor with 63 percent of the vote, Kris Kobach for Secretary of State with 59 percent of the vote, Derek Schmidt for Attorney General with 55 percent of the vote, and Ron Estes for State Treasurer with 58 percent of the vote. The two constitutional amendments on the ballot also passed. They dealt with voting rights for those with mental illness and the right to bear arms.
Charlie Heptas/The Bulletin