PITTSBURG — In something of an upset, incumbent Democratic Rep. Adam Lusker was defeated for his Kansas House District 2 seat by Republican Ken Collins.
Lusker (D-Frontenac) won Crawford County handily Tuesday night, 3,245 to 2,570 over Collins (R-Mulberry), but lost overall for Kansas House District 2.
In Allen County Collins defeated Lusker 329 to 191, in Neosho County 1,115 to 654 and in Bourbon County 395 to 104.
The overall unofficial results were 4,319 for Collins and 4,194 votes for Lusker.
“I was pleasantly surprised, I knew it was going to be a tough race,” Collins said adding he was thankful to be elected.
For County Commissioner District 1 Bruce Blair (R-Pittsburg) ran and won against Richard Gilmore (D-Pittsburg) 3,079 to 2,029.
“I’m excited to help represent Crawford County and really try to work toward where we can have a group of commissioners that work for a common cause, which is best for the county, as well as each individual district,” Blair said.  
Blair said he plans to take a proactive approach as commissioner and to seek positive things, such as new businesses and taking care of current businesses.
The seat for County Commissioner District 3 was also open. Chad Ulepich (R-Pittsburg) won a close race against Pittsburg Mayor Jeremy Johnson (D-Pittsburg) 2,310 to 2,227 — an 83 vote difference.  
There were 659 write-on votes many of them presumably for Carl Wood (D- Pittsburg) who lost the primary contest to Johnson in August.
Ulepich said he has no agenda and he’s “going in with wide eyes open and taking in all information before making any decision, and each decision will be made with a common sense approach.”
Ulepich said he’s excited for the challenges ahead and he said he believes there are “two other good guys” on the commission he can collaborate with.
“I’m looking forward to the future of the county,” he said.
Monica Murnan (D-Pittsburg) and Terry Calloway (R-Pittsburg) ran for the state House of Representatives. Murnan won the seat with 5,011 votes to 4,337.
“I was very pleased with the voter turnout and I genuinely appreciate their continued support,” Murnan said. “I look forward to going back to Topeka in January and continuing to serve the people of our area.
“I will continue to focus on restoring a structurally sound budget and addressing the issues regarding adequacy and equity in the school funding formula.”
In Kansas Senate District 13, incumbent Richard Hilderbrand (R-Baxter Springs) — who was appointed by former Governor Sam Brownback to the seat vacated by Jake LaTurner when he was named Kansas Treasurer — defeated Bryan Hoffman (D-Mulberry) 13,823 to 10,188.    
A third party candidate, Libertarian Sam Habjan received 1,410 votes.
“I’m humbled and glad the outcome came out the way it did,” Hilderbrand said. “I’ll continue to fight for Southeast Kansas.
“We already have bill that will hopefully be prefiled today that will put Crawford County on the Rural Opportunity Zone and get some of the windfall taxes back to citizens in Kansas.”
— Stephanie Potter is a staff writer at the Morning Sun. She can be emailed at spotter@morningsun.net or follow her on Twitter @PittStephP and Instagram @stephanie_morningsun.