Also read: A look at the winners and losers
By Paul Rhodes and Travis Mounts
State Rep. Dan Kerschen was without a district just over a month ago after a federal court redrew state election maps that put Kerschen outside of the 93rd House District he had served for two terms.
Rather than running against his friend, Joe Seiwert, in the 101st House race, he decided to challenge incumbent Dick Kelsey in the Republican Primary for Senate District 26.
That move paid off with a 57-43 percent win over Kelsey, who had served four years in the Senate after two terms as the State Representative in District 93.
“I want to congratulate Dan Kerschen and hope he enjoys his time in the Senate as I’ve enjoyed mine,” said Kelsey in a call to The Times-Sentinel. “There were a lot of people across the state who went down tonight. It will be a conservative Senate next year.”
Kelsey said he was hit hard in the last week of the election by negative campaign ads from groups that wanted him unseated.
“If this effort is successful, we have changed the nature of politics in Kansas for the next generation,” he said. “It’s unfortunate.”
Kerschen, who had been serving in the 93rd House District, chose to run for the 26th District Senate seat following redistricting. He said he was glad the Primary is over and can now focus on the general election.
“I’m glad it worked out the way it did,” said Kerschen. “I appreciate all the help from volunteers across the area. It was a super effort by everyone.”
Cheney’s Marc Bennett will be the new Sedgwick County District Attorney. Bennett won 54 percent to 46 percent against Kevin O’Connor in the race to replace retiring DA Nola Foulston.
Bennett is currently a deputy DA under Foulston and has served in the office for 15 years. O’Connor is a former deputy DA with 17 year experience in the office. He is from Wichita.
Jeff Easter of Colwich ran away with the Republican Primary for Sedgwick County Sheriff. More than 30,000 voters chose Easter compared to fewer than 11,000 for incumbent Bob Hinshaw, who was hampered by allegations that his office mishandled an ongoing sexual assault case against a former deputy at the Sedgwick County Jail.
Karl Peterjohn won his Republican Primary by defeating Wichita City Council member Jeff Longwell.
There is no Democrat running for Sedgwick County District Attorney or for Sedgwick County Commission District 3. Easter will face Jefrey Weinman in the General Election.
In the Democratic Primary for House District 93, Pam Frieden of Haysville beat Garden Plain’s Sammy Flaharty, despite not actively seeking the seat. Frieden was one of several candidates who filed to make sure their party had someone on the ticket, and then did not campaign when another party member filed, too.
Results won be final until the canvass on Aug. 16.