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Archive for Wednesday, November 3, 2004

Former mayor defeats Buhler in Senate race

November 3, 2004

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Mark Buhler's career as a state senator will be short-lived.

Buhler, a Republican appointed to the Senate in 2002, was unseated Tuesday by Democrat Marci Francisco, a former Lawrence mayor.

Francisco, 54, took approximately half the votes in the 2nd District race that may have split Republican voters between Buhler and Jim Mullins, a conservative who left the Republican Party to run as a Reform Party candidate. Buhler earned about 43 percent, and Mullins received about 7 percent of the vote.

"I talked with people who said, 'You knocked on my door 25 years ago,'" said Francisco, who was mayor from 1981 to 1983. "I talked to people who said, 'We appreciate what you've done over the years.' People want trust. You build that over time."

Buhler, a 50-year-old Lawrence real estate broker, served on the Douglas County Commission for eight years before being appointed to the Senate in 2002. He replaced Sandy Praeger after Praeger was elected state insurance commissioner.

"I think if you look at all the races, the (John) Kerry folks got out and voted, and they did a great job of voting straight-ticket," Buhler said. "Maybe they preferred Marci over me."

Marci Francisco is congratulated by supporters at Abe and Jake's
Landing, 8 E. Sixth St., where members of the Kansas Democratic
Party gathered to see Tuesday's election results. Francisco, former
Lawrence mayor from 1981 to 1983, won the 2nd District Senate seat
over incumbent Mark Buhler, a Republican.

Marci Francisco is congratulated by supporters at Abe and Jake's Landing, 8 E. Sixth St., where members of the Kansas Democratic Party gathered to see Tuesday's election results. Francisco, former Lawrence mayor from 1981 to 1983, won the 2nd District Senate seat over incumbent Mark Buhler, a Republican.

In some ways, Francisco and Buhler were similar candidates. Both said they were willing to raise taxes for schools, were pro-choice and opposed the same-sex marriage amendment.

Francisco, a space analyst at Kansas University, said she thought her focus on increasing income tax -- and not income and sales taxes -- for schools helped her campaign, as did her focus on helping the state's environment.

Buhler's campaign included containing health-care costs and helping small businesses create jobs.

Buhler said Mullins, who pledged not to raise taxes and limit school funding to the rate of inflation over the next three years, may have cost him the race. Mullins is opposed to abortion and favors the amendment banning same-sex marriage.






6News video: Francisco likely to win 2nd District
Kansas Senate 2nd District
Mark Buhler 13,496 43 %
¢ Marci Francisco 15,614 49 %
Jim Mullins 1,968 7 %
44 of 44 precincts reporting

"I think the people who voted for Jim are very conservative," Buhler said. "They're good Republicans. If Jim hadn't've run, those people would have either not voted or probably voted for me. But that's life. That's how it goes."

Mullins said his candidacy was about giving Douglas County conservatives a choice.

"I'm sick and tired of conservatives having to hold their noses and vote for whoever the moderates come up with," Mullins said. "It was that way with Praeger, and it's that way with Buhler."



































































Overview Unofficial election results Douglas County precinct map Election Day 2004 feedbacktext Kids Voting ResultsCounty Democrat unseats D.A. of 8 years Former mayor defeats Buhler in Senate race Embattled district judge stays on bench McElhaney survives short-lived deficit Record number of voters cast their ballots in county Douglas County kids choose Kerry Politicians, supporters share 'crazy' election-night revelry Voters approve Perry-Lecompton bond issue Township lacks candidatesState Moore fends off another challenge Ryun wins contentious 2nd District Congress seat Brownback easily defends his U.S. Senate seat Holland inches past GOP challenge Pine takes 3rd District Senate seat Wagnon wins State Board of Education race Seven incumbents lose; GOP pads majority in House Voters deny sales tax for K.C. arena Bush wins Kansas handily Kansans show they're satisfied with Bush Counties see high voter turnout Election briefsNational Too close to call President 'upbeat' on election returns Kerry sentimental as race nears end Analysis: Emotions guided presidential voting Networks use care in reporting results New media throw caution to the wind Presidential race prompts late selloff State by state results: Midwest State by state results: West State by state results: Northeast State by state results: South California backs stem-cell research Voters in 11 states approve gay-marriage bans GOP wins key states in South World riveted by U.S. electionMultimediaphoto Photo Gallery: Election Day 2004 6News video: Dennis Moore wins in a 'landslide' 6News video: Dennis Moore victory speech 6News video: Bob Johnson wins 2nd District County Commission position 6News video: Paula Gilchrist presumed Douglas County Treasurer 6News video: Ken McGovern wins sheriff's office 6News video: Jere McElhaney on the 3rd District Commissioner seat 6News video: Penrod optimistic about Douglas County Clerk position 6News video: Ermeling hopeful in 3rd District Commissioner race 6News video: Francisco likely to win 2nd Districtphoto Barbara Ballard talks about younger voters and their importance in this election.photo Barbara Ballard talks about being in Lawrence and Kansas on election night.photo Paul Davis talks about the importance of this election to the Kansas Democrats.photo Paul Davis chooses his most important race in Kansas.photo Paul Davis talks about the feeling among other Democrats in Kansas.photo Gov. Kathleen Sebelius addresses the crowd at Abe 'N Jakes Landing.

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