A big night for conservatives in Kansas
The Kansas City Star
Barring a string of Democratic victories in November, which is possible but just barely, conservative Republicans will take over the Kansas Senate next year.
In Johnson County, moderate Tim Owens lost his seat to Jim Denning. Moderate Pat Colloton’s stellar legislative career has been upended by a loss to Jeff Melcher. Conservative Mary Pitcher Cook won in Shawnee. Greg Smith, a conservative, beat Joe Beveridge. Only moderate Kay Wolf succeeded in holding off a conservative challenge.
If this election was a referendum on Sam Brownback, as advertised, then one can only conclude that the controversial governor has been fully vindicated. In my mind, primary elections are unreliable referendums. They are usually marked by low turnout and participation by particularly intense voters. The results we’re seeing don’t track with Brownback’s low approval ratings in Kansas.
But referendum or otherwise, Brownback is a big winner tonight. He will likely have a Legislature that will do his bidding next year.
The conservative candidates I am familiar with — those in Johnson County — were well-funded and well-organized and they worked really hard. Congrats to them. But I think we’re in for a wild ride in Kansas.