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Archive for Wednesday, November 6, 1996

CONSERVATIVES SHOW CONTROL IN KANSAS

November 6, 1996

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Douglas County's election results could change on Friday, after a canvass of the votes.

Republican conservatives proved Tuesday night that they are for real in Kansas.

That was no more evident than the results of the U.S. Senate race between Republican conservative Sam Brownback and moderate Democrat Jill Docking, a Kansas University political observer said.

Late returns showed Brownback with a clear victory, with 54 percent to Docking's 45 percent.

"Jill ran as a moderate, and she did have to get a number of Republican votes," said Russell Getter, a KU associate professor of political science and government. "But the fact that Sam Brownback won suggests to me that the right wing of the Republican Party is really in control. I just think there is no longer a contest between the moderates and the conservatives. I think the conservatives have won it hands-down."

In Douglas County, conservative Republicans didn't fare as well -- Docking had 54 percent of the local vote to Brownback's 42 percent.

Although Republican Vince Snowbarger won the 3rd Congressional District race, Democrat Judy Hancock won in Douglas County, with 51 percent of the county's vote.

Patty Jaimes, Douglas County clerk, said there were about 1,000 people who were given provisional ballots to vote Tuesday. She said those votes would have to be examined during a canvass on Friday by county election officials to determine if they should be counted.

"A thousand is a bit mind-boggling. I've never dealt with anything that big. Usually it's 30 or 40," said Douglas County Commission Chairman Louie McElhaney.

Late returns showed Republicans were rolling up victories in all of the state's four congressional races.

Allan Cigler, a KU professor of political science and government, said he was surprised that Democrat John Frieden was not able to beat Republican Jim Ryun in the 2nd Congressional District race.

"I thought that John Frieden was going to squeak ahead, given the poll results and given the sort of trends in that election," Cigler said. "But there are an awful lot of Republicans in this state. The Democrats just came up short."

Cigler said he expected Docking to lose but not by that wide of a margin.

"The bottom line was Brownback ran a very good campaign. He outspent her by quite a bit," Cigler said. "I thought Jill Docking was never able to pin the extremist label on Sam Brownback. ... Make no mistake, he's a sharp, aggressive campaigner, and that was a very well-run campaign."

Cigler and Getter said they weren't surprised by Republican Pat Roberts' easy victory for the U.S. Senate over Democratic State Treasurer Sally Thompson.

"I think that was in the bag for Pat Roberts right out of the chute," Getter said. "He has an excellent reputation of being an ombudsman. He has built up credits with people over a long career in Congress."

He said Thompson was not able to mobilize the money she needed to get close to Roberts.

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