The two favorites in the state’s 3rd district U.S. House race successfully emerged from each primary Tuesday night.
It sets up a Nov. 2 showdown between Democrat Stephene Moore — the wife of the retiring congressman Dennis Moore — and Republican Kevin Yoder, a state representative who ran an aggressive primary campaign.
Moore of Lenexa easily defeated Merriam resident Tom Scherer in her primary, earning more than 70 percent of the vote.
“I am not a career politician, but as a nurse, mother, grandmother and longtime resident of the area, I know the people of this district and what you expect in a representative in Congress,” she said.
In the nine-candidate GOP race, Yoder of Overland Park edged out former state Rep. Patricia Lightner of Olathe with more than 31,706 votes compared with Lightner’s 26,000.
“Voters are looking for new, fresh leadership. They’re looking for someone who can cut spending and balance budgets,” Yoder said. “And I think they’re looking for someone to change what’s happening in Washington, and I think we were able to convey our strength in those areas.”
The 3rd District includes most of eastern Lawrence and all of Johnson and Wyandotte counties.
The key for Yoder was beating Lightner 28,740 votes to 24,198 votes in Johnson County, and in Douglas County he won the most votes with more than 1,300 votes compared with Lightner’s 724.
Yoder, an attorney, was first elected to the Kansas House in 2003. Last session, as chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, he was a main opponent of a state sales tax increase to prevent further education cuts. It eventually passed with support of moderate Republicans and Democrats.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee criticized Yoder Tuesday night, saying he supported tax increases in the past but was trying to paint himself as a conservative as a congressional candidate.
In response, Yoder said Stephene Moore’s support for plans like the cap-and-trade bill put her more in the camp of congressional incumbents.
“I don’t think voters believe the solutions that are coming out of Washington are fixing our problems. Our opponent will offer a very status quo approach,” he said.
Stephene Moore will try to continue her husband’s streak of defeating Republicans in the district. She stressed fiscal responsibility and a bipartisan attitude in her statement Tuesday night.
“In Congress, I will work with Democrats and Republicans to create jobs, balance the budget and continue to invest in education,” she said.
10:23 p.m. update
Yoder received 49.7 percent of the vote in Douglas County and 49 percent of the Lawrence vote. Patricia Lightner received 27.3 percent of the county vote and 26.5 percent of the Lawrence vote
10:13 p.m. update
Kevin Yoder has won the Republican nomination for the U.S. House, 3rd District, according to the Associated Press.
9:52 p.m. update
All precincts are reporting in Douglas County and it looks like voters in Lawrence elected Stephene Moore to be the Democratic candidate for U.S. House, 3rd District, by a wide margin.
Moore received 87.7 percent of the county vote and 88.8 percent of the Lawrence vote. Scherer received 12.3 percent of the county vote and 11.2 percent of the Lawrence vote.
8:58 p.m. update
Yoder and Lightner continue to move forward on the GOP side of this race. Yoder has 48 percent of the vote with 59 precincts reporting. Lightner has 35 percent. The rest looks like this:
- Gilyeat, 3 percent
- Malone, 3 percent
- McPherson, 3 percent
- Uvodich, 3 percent
- Klotz, 2 percent
- Rysavy, 2 percent
- King, 1 percent
8:41 p.m. update
Moore has won the Democratic nomination for U.S. House, 3rd District. From the Associated Press:
Stephene Moore has won the Democratic primary in Kansas' 3rd Congressional District, the first step toward replacing her husband in the U.S. House.
Moore defeated Thomas Scherer in Tuesday's voting.
The race to succeed Democratic Rep. Dennis Moore also drew nine Republicans to their party's primary.
Dennis Moore first won the seat in 1998. He announced last year he would retire at the end of his current term.
The 3rd Congressional District covers all of Johnson and Wyandotte counties and the eastern portion of Douglas County, including parts of Lawrence.
8:24 p.m. update
The crowded field of Republicans running for the 3rd District GOP nomination, two candidates are emerging with significant chunks of votes.
Kevin Yoder Leads Patricia Lightner, 48 to 35 percent, with 21 of 599 precincts reporting. The rest of the candidates, Dan Gilyeat, Dave King, Garry Klotz, Jerry Malone, Craig McPherson, John Rysavy and Jean Ann Uvodich all have single digit percentages.
8:18 p.m. update
Now with 21 of 599 precincts reporting, Moore is increasing her lead. She's up 82 percent to 19 percent on Sherer.
8:15 p.m. update
With two of 599 precincts reporting, Stephene Moore is leading Thomas Scherer in the race for the U.S. House of Representatives, 3rd District. Moore has 81 percent of the vote to Scherer's 19 percent.