Topeka Secretary of State Ron Thornburgh easily won a fourth term Tuesday, defeating Democratic challenger David Haley in a rematch from 2002.
Four years ago, the Republican incumbent beat the senator from Kansas City with 65 percent of the vote, the largest percentage win of any statewide office that year.
Thornburgh's real battle for another four-year term this year was in the Aug. 1 primary against Sen. Kay O'Connor, of Olathe.
He won with 72 percent of the vote and O'Connor subsequently resigned from the Legislature, largely because of her thumping at the polls.
Haley focused his campaign on what he said were shortcomings in the secretary of state's office. He repeated many of O'Connor's allegations from the primary, such as illegal immigrants may be registering to vote and citizens are having a harder time casting ballots.
But his criticism largely went unnoticed. Thornburgh, a familiar face throughout Kansas, said he stood on his record and that his office hadn't been negligent. Thornburgh drew from both moderate and conservative elements of his party.
The rematch almost didn't happen. Haley won his primary over Wichita attorney and author Robert Beattie by 212 votes out of 71,370 cast.
Also on the ballot were Libertarian Rod Hodgkinson, of Stilwell, and Reform Party candidate Joseph Martin, of St. Marys.