Rep. Tom Holland, D-Baldwin, had little trouble defeating Leo Kerwin, a 71-year-old retired schoolteacher turned used-car salesman, in the 10th District Kansas House race.
The final tally: Holland, 924; Kerwin, 220.
"I think the fact that he was the incumbent probably had something to do with it," said Kerwin, reflecting on his first run for public office. "He had a little more notoriety in the district than I did. I congratulate him."
Records show Holland, 43, spent $4,914 on his campaign during the Jan. 1-to- July 23 reporting period. Kerwin reported spending $583.
"That may have had something to do with it, too," Kerwin said.
Holland, a one-term incumbent, based his campaign on his willingness to raise taxes for schools, opposition to outsourcing jobs and extending benefits to illegal immigrants, and helping small businesses.
"Those are my three issues," Holland said. "Education, jobs and small business."
Holland, a self-employed computer project manager, will face Rich Lorenzo, a Republican from Lawrence, in the Nov. 2 general election.
Lorenzo, an investment counselor, was unopposed in the GOP primary.
In 2002, Holland defeated four-term incumbent Ralph Tanner; 3,985 votes to 3,331. At the time, Tanner, a Republican and a former Baker University president, was chairman of the House Education Committee.
Tanner blamed his defeat, in part, on the Kansas National Education Assn. campaigning against him.