For the most part, the dust has all settled from Election Night, with only a few races close enough to potentially change after the final canvass within the next week or so.
While the legislative races kept Republican super-majorities
in both the House and Senate, the big news of the night was, of course, Laura Kelly winning the governor's race. I anticipate this will create a lot of stalemates in the next session and next four years. The legislature will pass conservative policy, which the governor's office will veto, but the good news is that...
House Republicans gained a seat!
The unofficial results have the Kansas House of Representatives balance at 86 Republicans / 39 Democrats.
This will help override any forthcoming vetos, but it is NOT a guarantee. Some urban Republicans may vote with Democrats on overrides.
Our work in the legislature may get a little harder
with a Democrat on the second floor of the Capitol, but not impossible. It all depends on how willing the parties are to work together on issues.
On the campaign trail, candidates for the governor's race can make lots of promises about spending, taxes, schools, Medicaid, and everything else. But the fact is no candidate can do that on their own - it is up to the legislature to pass those "promises".
That's why I'm not too worried about losing ground on important issues we have made progress on in recent years.
That may also be why Kansas seems to have a cycle of shifting back and forth between parties in our governorship. With a strong Republican legislature - often a two-thirds super-majority - the voters of Kansas know a Democrat governor will not be able to accomplish any drastic changes.
The final numbers on the race for the 120th House district, including Cheyenne, Rawlins, Decatur, Sherman, Thomas, and Wallace Counties, were favorable for my campaign. The first reports came in from Cheyenne and Thomas Counties, which gave me a respectable lead of 76% to 24%. That margin remained about the same throughout the night as more results trickled in. The final margin was 82% to 19% with just over 8500 votes counted.
Regardless of how you voted, thank you for exercising your right to vote!
The voter turnout was a good one - didn't break any records but I felt it was a decent turnout for our district.
I want to thank everyone for their support and encouragement throughout this election season and the past two years during my first term. It has truly been an honor to represent this area - and all of the incredible people I have gotten to know over the years. The people I represent really are what makes this job worthwhile!
I also want to thank my opponent, Jerry Hill.
He has been a class-act through the entire race. I knew him before he filed to run for the office and considered him a very honest, straightforward person. I have a lot of respect for him and the way he ran his campaign. I certainly wish him the best!