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Voter turnout at 17 percent for Ellis County

8/6/2014

By MATTHEW KENWRIGHT

By MATTHEW KENWRIGHT

mkenwright@dailynews.net

Approximately 17 percent of registered Ellis County voters participated in the primary election and cast 3,079 votes.

Donna Maskus, Ellis County clerk, said she thought turnout was slow at certain poll sites. Democrats closed their primary after keeping it open for several primary elections. The Republicans' primary also was closed, and approximately 180 people were unable to register to vote because of the state's voter registration laws. County staff attempted to contact them before the election, Maskus said.

Gov. Sam Brownback won 63 percent of voters in his Republican primary as his challenger, Jennifer Winn, captured 37 percent. Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kan., beat Alan LaPolice 55 percent to 45 percent. Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., defeated Dr. Milton Wolf 48 percent to 41 percent.

Kris Kobach, Kansas Secretary of State, beat Scott Morgan with 65 percent of the vote. Ken Selzer won the nomination for state insurance commissioner with 27 percent of votes cast.

LaPolice said more turnout could have turned the tide in his favor. The margin between the two men reflects Huelskamp's unpopularity, LaPolice said.

"I think that it says volumes," he said. "The voters that did turn out absolutely spoke that Tim Huelskamp and his policies or his practices aren't the views of all of the voters in the district."

LaPolice said he was proud he ran a clean campaign and his supporters were drawn to his cause.

Republicans learned who they will face in November's general election.

Chad Taylor beat Patrick Wiesner with 53 percent of the vote to secure the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate seat held by Pat Roberts. Jim Sherow won 61 percent of Democrats' support to finalize his race against Huelskamp. Paul Davis will face Brownback, and Dennis Anderson is the Democratic candidate for insurance commissioner.

Greg Orman, an Independent candidate for U.S. Senate, will compete in the general election.

Chapman Rackaway, political science professor at Fort Hays State University, said the anti-incumbent spirit is higher than he has seen in 20 years. It might signify change is coming in November's general election.

"Challengers rarely, if ever, come close," Rackaway said. "Tonight, challengers were punching well above their weight class -- all across the board."