It was a night of surprises for Primary Night 2018 in Sumner County, as well as the State of Kansas.
Locally, Rep. Anita Judd-Jenkins lost to local publisher Bill Rhily by 1337 to 964 (combined Cowley and Sumner County totals). Rhily is now the 80th District Representative.
Former Oxford Mayor John Cooney won the County Commissioners race, with 395 votes, to Jason Boyd’s 327 votes. Wellington City Council Member Kip Etter followed in third with 205 votes.
Cooney was reached for comment this morning and remarked how surprised he was. He knew it would be a close one. He said between now and January, when he will be finally sworn in, he will be attending commissioner meetings to get up to speed on the current issues. Among the issues Cooney was referring to is the proposal to have the Bio Fuel Plant near Belle Plaine. Cooney’s name will be on the ballot again in the November General Election.
Cooney said he reacted “very humbly” when he heard he won. “The outpouring of support caught me off guard. I look forward to being a public servant.” This won’t be his first time being a public servant, as he previously has served as both Mayor and City Clerk of the City of Oxford.
It was a real nail-biter all through the evening as Secretary of State Kris Kobach and Governor Jeff Colyer went back and forth with a lead in the votes. Neither one could make a clean break away from the other, always trailing by a few thousand votes. By Wednesday morning, after the votes from Johnson County were all in, Kobach lead Governor Colyer by a mere 191 votes.
"We're not there yet," Governor Colyer responded later Wednesday afternoon at his press conference when asked if a recount would be coming. At that moment, he trailed Secretary of State Kris Kobach by a mere 191 votes. There were apparently still quite a bit of votes yet to be counted., Colyer reminded people.
At Kobach's own press conference, he insisted he would not be recusing himself from any potential recount that might occur.
In the Democratic Party race for Governor, Sen. Laura Kelly was the clear favorite, winning 52% of the vote, with 78,746 votes. Her closest challenger was former Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer with 20% of the vote at 30,693 votes.
At the county level, it was much closer with Kelly receiving 351 votes to Brewer’s 313.
Kansas Representative Scott Schwab emerged from a field of five Republican hopefuls to earn his party's nod for Kansas Secretary of State.
Schwab currently serves as Speaker Pro Tem in the Kansas House. In Tuesday's primary, Schwab won a huge victory of about 30,000 votes more than his closest challengers, Randy Duncan and Dennis Taylor.
In Sumner County, Schwab won with 849 votes, with his closest competitor, Randy Duncan, at 638 votes.
In November, Schwab will face Democrat Brian McLendon.
Rep. Ron Estes easily won his primary with 2144 votes in the county against 499 votes for Ron. M. Estes. At the state level, Rep. Estes received 56,507 to his opponent’s 12,896.
He will be facing a rematch with James Thompson, whom he defeated in 2016. Thompson beat his primary opponent, Laura Lombard, 19,668 to 10,468.