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  • Writer's pictureRoger Sims, Journal Staff

Linn County ballots go to Republicans by large margin

Updated: Dec 1, 2022

MOUND CITY – As expected, Republican candidates made another clean sweep in the unofficial results of Tuesday’s general election in Linn County. And while the results in Linn County’s 15 precincts mirrored those in many state and federal races, Democratic candidates bolstered by the urban and suburban vote won in two key state races.

Linn County has about three times the number of registered Republican than registered Democrats, and unaffiliated voters in the county also tend to vote for Republican candidates.

From unofficial results tabulated by the Kansas Secretary of State’s office, Democratic incumbent Gov. Laura Kelly, along with Lt. Governor David Toland, was re-elected by a narrow 49 percent to 48 percent vote over the Derek Schmidt ticket.

Linn County voters chose Schmidt with 69 percent of the vote vs. 26 percent for Kelly. Schmidt has not conceded the race, and with the difference being about 15,000 votes out of the nearly 980,000 ballots cast, it likely will go to a recount.

Republican Kris Kobach appears to have won over Democrat Chris Mann by about 22,500 votes in the race for state attorney general, with Kobach receiving 51 percent of the vote. Kobach was heavily favored by Linn County voters 74 percent to 26 percent for Mann.

Mann’s camp has indicated he will not concede the race until all of the advance ballots and provisional ballots are counted.

Because of the Veterans Day holiday on Friday, the last day to receive mail-in ballots is Monday, Nov. 14. However, the ballots must be postmarked by election day, Nov. 8.

There was no question who won the U.S. Senate race as incumbent Republican Jerry Moran easily retained his seat, rolling over challenger Democrat Mark Holland with 60 percent of the vote to Holland’s 37 percent. Linn County voters heavily favored Moran with 81 percent of the vote.

Linn County voters also picked a winner in the race for the 2nd Congressional District race. Republican incumbent Jake LaTurner received 58 percent of the vote to Democrat Patrick Schmidt's 42 percent in the district that has all or parts of 26 counties.

The congressional delegation from Kansas will remain the same for the next two-year term with three Republicans and one Democrat. In a replay of the 2018 election, Democrat Sharice Davids received 55 percent of the vote, beating Republican challenger Amanda Adkins in the 3rd District race, Republican Ron Estes retained his seat in the 45th District and Republican Tracey Mann easily won re-election in the race in the 1st District.

In other state races, Secretary of State Scott Schwab retain his post with 59 percent of the vote across the state over Democrat Jeanna Repass. Linn County voters gave Schwab nearly 79 percent of the vote.

Republican Steven Johnson won the state treasurer post over incumbent Lynn Rogers with more than 75 percent of the vote statewide. Linn County voters gave Johnson 76 percent of the vote. Johnson was successful in receiving the Republican nomination in the August primary by winning over Parker Sen. Caryn Tyson by a razor-thin margin.

Linn County voters also chose incumbent Republican Vickie Schmidt for Commissioner for Insurance by nearly 83 percent over Democrat Kiel Corkran. Schmidt won the race statewide with 63 percent of the vote.

In races for the Kansas Legislature, incumbent Republican Trevor Jacobs was unopposed on the ballot for the District 4 seat in the House. He received more than 97 percent of the Linn County votes cast. The 4th District includes all townships in Linn County except Liberty, which is in the 9th District.

In the race for the 9th District House seat, Garnett veterinarian Fred Gardner won easily over Democrat Alana Cloutier with 75 percent of the vote. Gardner received 83 percent of the votes in the Parker/Liberty Township area.

In another local race, Linn County Commission 1st District candidate Jason Hightower, a La Cygne Republican, faced no opposition in the general election, winning 97 percent of the vote with 32 write-ins. The other two commission seats aren’t up for election until November 2024.

Likely spurred by anti-abortion groups, Linn County voters were fairly evenly split on retaining the Kansas Supreme Court Justices with almost all of the justices received a “yes” vote 50 percent of the time. The exception was the vote for conservative Justice Caleb Stegall, who garnered 55 percent of the vote.

Statewide, all of the justices were retained with 65 percent to 73 percent of the vote. Usually justices and judges are assured being retained, but a vote by six of the seven justices to determine that the right to an abortion was protected by the Kansas Constitution drew the ire of anti-abortionists.

Linn County voters were a little kinder to retaining seven appeals court judges, and all of them received 52 percent of the vote or better.

Sixth District Court Chief Judge Amy Harth of Paola also received approval by the majority of Linn County voters, receiving 63 percent of the vote.

Linn County voters also heavily favored the amendment to the state constitution that would give the Republican-dominated Kansas Legislature the power to change or suspend rules and regulations imposed by the governor and give it oversight of duties that have been carried out by the executive branch.

Seen as a direct challenge to the authority of Democrat Gov. Kelly, the amendment received approval by about 63 percent of Linn County voters. Statewide, the vote on the measure so far is nearly evenly split with about 6,200 more votes against the amendment than votes for it.

Linn County voters also approved by 75 percent the amendment that would require that county sheriffs be elected rather than appointed and that they could only be removed by the state attorney general or a recall vote by residents of the county. That amendment easily passed statewide with 62 percent of the voters in favor of adopting it.

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