Businessman Chuck Ahner won a four-man GOP primary Tuesday to face incumbent 3rd District Congressman Dennis Moore, a Democrat, in November.
The district includes east Lawrence and eastern Douglas County, plus Johnson and Wyandotte counties.
Ahner, a senior vice president at Midland Loan Services Inc., credited his victory in part to his efforts in Douglas County.
"We had a concerted grass-roots effort in Douglas County," he said.
He also was helped by former U.S. Sen. Bob Dole, who recorded a telephone message that went to GOP voters in the district, urging them to vote for Ahner, a West Point graduate.
Though Republican registered voters are in the majority in the district, Moore has vexed the GOP the past eight years. A former prosecutor, Moore unseated an incumbent Republican in 1998 and has dispatched a tough Republican challenger every two years since. He is viewed as a moderate to conservative Democrat.
"We're not running against Dennis Moore, but running toward our issues," Ahner said.
Ahner said one of his major issues would be tax reform.
"We want to change the whole tax code to make it more compatible in the world economy," he said.
Ahner unsuccessfully sought a seat on the Blue Valley school board in 2003 and 2005.
On Tuesday, Ahner captured 52 percent of the Republican vote. Scott Schwab, a two-term Kansas House member from Olathe, came in second with 33 percent.
As of mid-July, Ahner had raised $209,000 for his campaign. But $150,000 was his own money. Schwab had raised $42,000.
Other candidates were Thomas Scherer, of Merriam, who ran calling for withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq within a year, and Paul Showen, of Shawnee, who wanted to establish a flat federal income tax of 10 percent. Scherer received 8 percent of the vote; Showen, 7 percent.
The race was still too close to call in the 4th District Democratic congressional primary, where four candidates were competing to take on Republican Rep. Todd Tiahrt.
With 91 percent of the precinct results in, systems analyst and first-time candidate Garth McGinn of Bel Air had 28 percent of the vote. Marty Mork, a disabled former warehouse worker from Wichita, and lab technologist Ron Voth of Halstead each had 25 percent. Patrick Quaney, a retired engineer from Wichita, had 22 percent.