Roger Pine relied on a strong base in his home county to advance to the general election in the 3rd District of the Kansas Senate.
Pine, a farmer who lives in rural Lawrence, defeated three others in the Republican primary Tuesday. He won 47 percent of the vote overall and 65 percent in Douglas County.
"I ran strongly here in Douglas County," he said. "I guess I'd have to attribute that to the fact I grew up here and have been involved in both public activities like the school board as well as community activities for a number of years. I'm sure that helped me."
Pine defeated contenders Connie O'Brien of Tonganoxie, who received 34 percent of the vote; Richard Rodewald of Eudora, who received 12 percent; and Chuck Quinn of Perry, who received 7 percent.
Pine now will face Democrat Jan Justice of Bonner Springs, director of Community LINC, a social service organization in Kansas City, Mo. Justice received 71 percent of the vote in her victory over Ed Sass of Easton.
"I think tonight confirms what the voters have told me the whole time: that they're not going to take the status quo anymore in Topeka," Justice said.
Both Justice and Pine said voters would have a clear choice in November. Justice characterized the matchup as a race "between a conservative and a moderate," while Pine said Justice "is more liberal than I am."
That difference may be shown in their stances on school funding. Justice favors a tax increase for schools "if it is good for District 3." Pine said he preferred to increase the state's tax base by encouraging economic development, and using that money for schools. However, Pine has said he wouldn't rule out a tax increase.
Justice and Pine also differ on support of a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. Justice opposes a ban. Pine has said he would support an amendment if the current statutory ban were jeopardized.
The seat is being vacated by Bob Lyon, a Winchester Republican who is stepping down after one term. The district includes a portion of Lawrence north of Sixth Street.