County commission race runs close



August 6, 2014 - 12:00 AM

Tuesday’s Republican primary election provided a crystal clear civics lesson for Allen Countians — every vote counts.
By the time the last ballots were tallied, Jerry Daniels, Humboldt, led Jim Mueller of Moran by one vote — 251 to 250 — in their campaign to replace outgoing Dick Works on the Allen County Commission.
The results are unofficial, and won’t be certified until 8 a.m. Monday, when commissioners will look at eight provisional ballots. Provisional ballots are ones cast in which the voter’s name does not match the registry list.
The winner is virtually assured of taking the seat in November; no Democrats filed for the position.
The vote was so close, Mueller had left the Allen County clerk’s office Tuesday evening thinking he had secured the nomination.
Problem was, the tally tabulated on did not account for advance ballots. Mueller led 222 to 220 on votes counted Tuesday, while Daniels had 31 votes to Mueller’s 28 in advance balloting, tilting the vote in his favor by the slimmest of margins.

ELSEWHERE, State Rep. Kent Thompson fended off a challenge from Chad VanHouden of Chanute for his 9th District seat.
Thompson garnered 60 percent of the vote — 1,505 to 1,005 — to earn his first full two-year term in the House.
Thompson was appointed in 2013 to fill the unexpired term of the late Ed Bideau. He, along with several supporters, waited anxiously in the Allen County Clerk’s office for the votes to roll in.
Allen Countians overwhelmingly favored Thompson, by more than a 2-to-1 margin, 1,046 votes to 478.
Neosho County voters, meanwhile, favored VanHouden, but nearly at the same level Thompson enjoyed in his home county.
The 9th district covers the western portions of both Allen and Neosho counties.
Thompson told the Register he was excited to return to Topeka.
He noted the state has several issues on the table, “and the dynamics in Topeka still can change,” depending on what happens in the General Election in November.

ALLEN COUNTIANS largely reflected the same results in other statewide races.
Sen. Pat Roberts, who survived a challenge from Milton Wolf, was favored by Allen Countians, with 56 percent of the 1,637 votes cast locally. Wolf received just under 28 percent in the four-way race.
Lynn Jenkins was supported by more than 71 percent in Allen County, a shade more than her 69 percent vote total statewide, over challenger Joshua Tucker, for her seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Likewise, Gov. Sam Brownback took home a majority of votes in Allen County and statewide in his bid for re-election, although the local margin was surprisingly thin over Republican challenger Jennifer Winn. Brownback brought home just over 55 percent of the 1,662 votes cast to Winn’s 45 percent (885 votes to 745). Statewide, 63 percent of Kansas Republicans supported Brownback.
Secretary of State Kris Kobach fended off a Republican charge by challenger Scott Morgan, 65 percent to 35 percent, statewide. In Allen County, the vote was a bit closer. Kobach had 877 votes, 55 percent, to Morgan’s 698, 45 percent.
Jim Porter, seeking a seat on the Kansas State Board of Education, had 67 percent of the 1,500 votes cast locally in his race against Martin Burke. Statewide, Porter defeated Burke by earning 59 percent of the vote.

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