By JUDY SHERARD
Rep. Sue Boldra, R-Hays, didn't take her return as 111th District representative to Topeka for granted.
"I didn't have any expectations," she said of the election.
Boldra, an instructor at Fort Hays State University, was first elected to the state Legislature in 2012.
"I still get goosebumps when I walk into that chamber, to think that I'm really here after all those years of teaching government," she said.
She defeated Democratic opponent James Leiker by 1,118 votes -- 4,747 to 3,629.
"I'm very honored that people saw fit to send me back," she said.
While some area races were uncontested, Boldra said she was happy to have an opponent.
"In the democratic process, we always need two candidates so people have a choice," she said.
The Republican sweep is interesting.
"I thought (Sen.) Pat Roberts would pull it out because he had an important role to play," Boldra said.
Republican Gov. Sam Brownback's re-election is "exciting for us because I would like to see his experiment continue and really turn this around. If it doesn't work, then we'll have to go back to square one."
Some taxes might have to be raised, she said.
"I'm not a fan of gliding all the way to zero (income taxes)," Boldra said. "I think we need to hold right now and see where we are."
Cuts to education are unlikely, she said.
Boldra would like to see all-day kindergarten funding reconsidered, as well as continuing the technical education programs instituted.
The health care compact needs more study, she said.
"We voted to say Kansas could look at it, but we were also told it was not a do-or-die," Boldra said. "If you join it, and it doesn't work, we can back out."
If Paul Davis, the Democratic candidate for governor, had won, Boldra feared a stalemate with the Republican Legislature.
"I feared that nothing would get done. Many people would say that's a good thing that nothing is going to get done," she said with a smile.
It could have been "a constant state of battle. I just don't think that would have been good for the state either."
Boldra sees legislators' differences less as partisan and more as an urban rural split.
"That has to be my battleground to make sure that rural Kansas is not forgotten and is not overlooked in the new legislation," she said.