Tense election nights are becoming old hat for Bryan Murphy.
For the second time in three months, Murphy fended off a spirited challenge in his bid for a second term as Allen County Sheriff.
On Tuesday, Murphy defeated his challenger, Iola police officer Michael Aronson, 2,867 to 2,495 (53 percent to 47 percent).
“I am honored and humbled (voters) have reaffirmed their trust in me,” he said. “I will work tirelessly on your behalf to help address challenges, and to secure lasting and meaningful improvements to Allen County’s quality of life.”
Murphy’s 372-vote margin wasn’t secured until the final votes were tabulated, about 2 1/2 hours after the polls closed for the day.
In August, Murphy edged challenger Jared Froggatte in the Republican primary election, winning by 79 votes.
“The support I felt on this election day was incredible,” Murphy continued. “Citizens were stopping me on the street and asking, “How did we do?” referring to the results. I was humbled that they took ownership in the results. It was an amazing feeling.”
Aronson ran as an independent.
THERE WERE few surprises in the other contested races within Allen County.
Rep. Kent Thompson, R-LaHarpe, brought home more than 80 percent of the votes in his re-election bid against Libertarian challenger Patrick McMurray, Chanute.
Likewise, Kansas Sen. Caryn Tyson, received nearly 64 percent of the vote in her bid for a second four-year seat. Tyson’s Democratic challenger, Christopher Johnston, announced shortly after the filing deadline his intention to drop out of the race. His name, however, remained on the ballot (he received more than 1,000 votes, or 20 percent of the votes. Additionally, Carla Griffith mounted an aggressive write-in campaign.
Allen County Clerk Sherrie Riebel reported 832 ballots (16 percent) had write-in votes, but the names on those write-in ballots will not be announced until the elections are certified Monday.
ALLEN COUNTY voters echoed state results in the Congressional races.
Lynn Jenkins, Republican incumbent in the U.S. House, easily outdistanced her Democratic challenger, Britani Potter, 71 percent to 23 percent in Allen County. James H. Bales, Libertarian, brought in 5 percent of the vote in that race. Jenkins won the statewide vote, 61 percent to 33 percent.
The local margin was similar in Jerry Moran’s bid for re-election in the U.S. Senate. Moran received 72 percent of the Allen County votes, compared to Democrat Patrick Wiesner’s 22 percent, and Libertarian Robert Garrard’s 6 percent. Moran received 63 percent of the votes statewide; Wiesner 32 percent and Garrard 5 percent.
Allen Countians also favored Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton, 66 percent to 26 percent, compared to the statewide margins of 58 percent (Trump) to 36 percent (Clinton.)