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Election results become clearer, but questions remain


PITTSBURG, Kan. — While the results are not yet official, with all precincts reporting both in Crawford County and statewide, the winners and losers of Tuesday’s election were becoming clearer on Wednesday. 

At the federal level, Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kansas) and Rep. Jake LaTurner (R-KS 2nd District) won their re-election bids by wide margins. At the state level, some races were much closer, with Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly winning re-election by less than 16,000 votes, and Republican Kris Kobach winning the attorney general’s race by less than 22,000. 

Other statewide races, such as those for Kansas treasurer, insurance commissioner, and secretary of state, were easily won by Republican candidates Steven Johnson, Vicki Schmidt and Scott Schwab, respectively. 

At the local level, unofficial Crawford County results published Wednesday morning did not change the outcomes from results released Tuesday night. Republican Carl Wood appears to have won the Crawford County Commission District Three race by 300 votes. Although there were 808 write-in votes in the District Three State Representative race, incumbent Republican Chuck Smith easily won the contest, receiving 4,572 votes.  

There were two proposed amendments to the state constitution on the ballot. The proposed amendment dealing with recall and election procedures for county sheriffs easily passed both locally and statewide. The other proposed amendment, regarding legislative branch oversight of the state government’s executive branch, was favored by a fairly narrow margin of 326 voters in Crawford County, while at the state level the race was also close, but the amendment appeared to have been defeated by less than 8,000 votes. 

Other notable election questions included efforts to legalize recreational marijuana in nearby states. The legalization push failed in Arkansas, but succeeded in Missouri. Oklahoma will also be voting on marijuana legalization in a special election in March. 

At the national level, although it was clear that Republicans did not make as large of gains as some had hoped for, one major question that remained unresolved as of Wednesday evening was what the balance of power in Congress will look like going forward, with election results not yet entirely clear in states including Arizona and Georgia.