Forty Kansas Senate seats are being contested this year because of redistricting. Currently, the Kansas Senate breaks down to 8 Democrats and 14 moderate Republicans. These 22 votes can block the remaining 18 conservative voting GOP Senators from implementing nearly 100% of Governor Sam Brownback’s agenda. We’ll know tonight if enough conservatives survive and advance to have a chance for them to win complete control in November.
The marquee races for highly targeted Senators include moderates Owens 8th (chairman of Senate redistricting committee), Schodorf 25th, and Morris 39th (Senate Majority leader).
The 8th and 25th districts will be highly competitive in the general election should the moderate incumbent lose tonight. Moderates upset at being thrown out of office will likely back the Democratic challenger. There is no Democrat filed for the 39th.
New open seats held previously by high profile moderates and heavily targeted to flip to conservative include the 7th (Huntington retired) and 11th (Vratil retired). The 21st is a new JOCO district that has high profile conservative Greg Smith looking to move up from the House. These three open seats will also be highly competitive for the Democratic challenger if a conservative wins tonight.
Additional moderate incumbents targeted by conservatives included:
The above districts have Democratic challengers in November except for the 31st and 33rd.
Umbarger was moved to the 15th and is getting moderate support against the other incumbent King. In the 35th, Emler has KNEA support against a young conservative challenger. No Democratic candidates filed here.
There are a handful of seats held currently by conservatives that with redistricting, are being challenged by moderates or otherwise open. Those include the 1st, 10th, 12th, and 32nd.
The 26th, 37th and 40th are held by conservatives now, but an even more “pure” conservative challenger is on the ballot. The open 14th is another district that could elect a more pure conservative.
GOP held seats with no primary opponents are the 6th, 9th, 16th, 23rd, 27th, 29th, 30th, 34th, and 38th. Eight other districts are controlled by Democrats currently and today’s GOP primary will not impact those districts immediately.
What’s defined as true conservative here? It’s sold as strict constitutional tea party candidates supporting eliminating taxes, slashing spending and expanding natural gas drilling. Sounds like the national trend. However, to get the endorsement of conservative activist groups, the candidates also have to 100% in line with the old Christian conservative social agenda items like pro-life, traditional marriage, vouchers or home schooling, gun rights, anti-immigration, and anti-Sharia law. If it’s Kansas, that also means the school board candidates are fighting about evolution again. A conservative website has locally rated the candidates and awarded “5 Chips” to those that pass all the litmus tests. Falling short in just one area would still make for a good conservative just about anywhere in the country, but now invites a primary fight from a more pure candidate in Kansas.
The math discussed in winning complete control of the Senate is to flip 4 to 6 seats, but it won’t be decided by the results in a few districts tonight. We’ll tally the full scorecard when results are in. With so many new districts and new Democratic challengers in November, we will only know tonight if the conservatives have gained full control of the party, not of the full Senate and state agenda. To have a chance to win the Senate, the conservatives need to advance as many candidates as possible. 21 won’t do it and they probably need to see 28 to 30 candidates advancing tonight.
The list below is all 40 districts and GOP primary opponents. Moderates with PAC support listed have received money or endorsements from former Governor Bill Graves, KNEA, or Realtor PAC. Conservatives are getting support from Brownback and SOS Kobach, Americans for Prosperity, Club for Growth, Chamber of Commerce, Kansans for Life, NRA, and other usual suspects.
Let the purge being.
To see the district maps and other excellent data, check out KingofSpades' diary.
|1 – NE Kan (R)||Dennis Pyle (I)||Y – 5 Chip|
|Marje Cochren||Y||Mod Challenge|
|2 – Lawrence (D)||Ronald Ellis|
|3 – Leavenworth (D)||Anthony Brown|
|4 – KCK (D)||Joe Ward||Y – 5 Chip|
|5 – KCK (D)||Mark Gilstrap||Y – 5 Chip|
|Steve Fitzgerald||Y – 5 Chip|
|6 - KCK (R)||Chris Steineger (I)||Chris was (D)|
|7 – JOCO (R) Open||Kay Wolf||Y||Huntington (I) targeted & retired Con Challenge|
|David Harvey||Y – 5 Chip|
|8 – JOCO (R)||Tim Owens (I)||Y - PAC||Con Challenge|
|Jim Denning||Y - CoC|
|9 – JOCO (R)||Julia Lynn (I)||Y||Safe as con|
|10 – JOCO (R)||Tom Wertz||Y||Mod Challenge|
|Mary Pilcher-Cook (I)||Y||Likely safe con|
|11 – JOCO (R)||Pat Colloton||Y||Vratil (I) targeted & retired|
|12 – East Kan OPEN (R)||Caryn Tyson||Y||Apple (I) now in 37th|
|John Coen||Y – PAC||Mod challenger|
|13 – Pittsburg (R)||Bob Marshall (I)||Y - PAC||Con challenger|
|Jacob LaTurner||Y – 5 Chip|
|14 – (R) Open, Mod moved to 15th||John Grange||Y - PAC||Con challenger|
|Forrest Know||Y – 5 Chip|
|15 – (R) King natural (I)||Dwayne Umbarger (I)||Y- PAC||Moved from 14th|
|Jeff King (I)||Natural incumbent|
|16 – Wichita (R)||Ty Masterson (I)||Y – 5 Chip|
|17 – Emporia (R)||James Fawcett||Y||Con challenger|
|Jeff Longbine (I)||Y - PAC|
|18 – Topeka (D)||Dick Barta|
|Cristina Fischer||Y – 5 Chip|
|19 – Topeka (D)||Mary Windeuser|
|Casey Moore||Y – 5 Chip|
|20 – Topeka (R)||Vicki Schmidt (I)||Y - PAC||Con Challenge|
|21 – JOCO (R) New Open||Joe Beveridge||Y||New JOCO redistrict seat|
|Greg Smith||Y – 5 Chip||Smith was to challenge Owens in 8th|
|22 – Manhattan (R)||Joe Knopp|
|Bob Reader||Y||Con Challenge|
|Roger Reitz (I)||Y – PAC|
|23 – JOCO (R)||Rob Olson (I)|
|24 – Salina (R)||Tom Arpke||Y – 5 Chip||Con Challenge|
|Pete Brungardt (I)||Y -PAC||Leadership PAC|
|25 – Wichita (R)||Jean Schodorf (I)||Y - PAC||Con Challenge|
|Michael O’Donnell||Y – 5 Chip|
|26 – Haysville (R)||Dan Kershen||Y (Brownback taxes)||Con Challenge|
|Dick Kelsey (I)||Y – 5 Chip pending|
|27 – Wichita (R)||Leslie Donovan (I)|
|28 – Wichita (R)||Mike Petersen (I)||November Race|
|Keith Humphrey||Democrat||Excellent pickup chance|
|29 – Wichita (D)||Keyna Cox|
|30 – Wichita (R)||Susan Wagle (I)||Y – 5 Chip|
|31 – Wichita (R)||Carolyn McGinn (I)||Y||Con Challenge|
|Gary Mason||Y – 5 Chip|
|32 – Arkansas City (R)||Miranda Allen||Y||Mod Challenge|
|Steve Abrams (I)||Y – 5 Chip|
|33 – Stafford (R)||Mitch Holmes||Y – COC, etc.||Con Challenge|
|Ruth Teichman (I)||Y - PAC|
|34 – (R)||Terry Bruce (I)|
|35 – Lindsborg (R)||Jay Emler (I)||KNEA||Con Challenge|
|36 – Concordia (D)||Elaine Bowers||Y|
|Kyle Abbott||Y – 5 Chip|
|37 – JOCO (R)||Charlotte O’Hara||Y – 5 Chip||Open seat, Con Merrick to House as Speaker|
|Pat Apple (I – 12th)||Y – 75%||Moved from the 12th|
|38 – (R)||Garrett Love (I)|
|39 – SW Kan (R)||Stephen Morris (I)||Y||Moderate Leader – Con Challenge|
|40 – Rural Hays (R)||Ralph Ostmeyer (I)||Mostly conservative|
|John Miller||Likely more conservative||Running as “outsider”|