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Archive for Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Moran narrowly defeats Tiahrt, will face Johnston in U.S. Senate race

U.S. Rep. Jerry Moran, of Hays, stands next to his wife, Robba, on Tuesday as she gives a thumbs up to his supporters after it was announced that he had won the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate seat at a watch party organized by the Johnson County Republican Party at the Overland Park Marriott.

U.S. Rep. Jerry Moran, of Hays, stands next to his wife, Robba, on Tuesday as she gives a thumbs up to his supporters after it was announced that he had won the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate seat at a watch party organized by the Johnson County Republican Party at the Overland Park Marriott.

August 3, 2010, 11:31 p.m. Updated August 3, 2010, 11:35 p.m.

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— Kansas Republicans on Tuesday chose U.S. Rep. Jerry Moran as their nominee for an open U.S. Senate seat in a primary race that saw both leading candidates fighting aggressively and sometimes bitterly for conservative GOP voters.

Kansas Rep. Todd Tiahrt checks the results on a laptop along with Doug Henkle, right, and Matthew Stroia, both volunteers for his campaign.

Kansas Rep. Todd Tiahrt checks the results on a laptop along with Doug Henkle, right, and Matthew Stroia, both volunteers for his campaign.

See a precinct-by-precinct breakdown of the results in the Republican and Democrat U.S. Senate races.

Moran overcame a strong challenge from fellow Rep. Todd Tiahrt and questions raised by Tiahrt supporters about Moran’s commitment to being conservative. With most of the vote counted, Moran had just shy of 50 percent to Tiahrt’s 45 percent, with two minor candidates splitting the rest.

For many GOP voters, a key issue was which longtime congressman would be more aggressive in fighting President Barack Obama and his fellow Democrats. Many Republicans saw either as an acceptable nominee, and both enjoyed strong ratings from groups such as the National Rifle Association, the American Conservative Union and the National Right to Life Committee.

Moran will face Lisa Johnston, a Baker University administrator from Overland Park who emerged from a five-person Democratic race that also included state Sen. David Haley, of Kansas City, and Charles Schollenberger, a former newspaper reporter and editor from Prairie Village.

The Moran-Tiahrt race was the hottest of the year in Kansas — and among the nastiest in the last generation, as the two candidates hashed over small differences in their records. Moran painted Tiahrt as a Washington insider, while Tiahrt suggested Moran was hiding a moderate streak from voters.

Some voters saw Moran’s campaign as the less negative.

“I think Tiahrt got a little bit too nasty for me at the end,” said Pat Drummond, a 54-year-old self-employed house cleaner from the Kansas City-area suburb of Overland Park who voted for Moran.

But Tiahrt supporters blamed the negative tone on Moran, pointing to mailers from his campaign.

Tiahrt promised to endorse Moran, and the new GOP nominee said he doubts he’ll have a difficult time attracting Tiahrt’s supporters. The two agree on some issues, such as eliminating federal income taxes in favor of a national sales tax and continuing the war in Afghanistan without setting a timetable for withdrawal.

Dozens of supporters chanted, “Jerry! Jerry! Jerry!” in the ballroom of the Marriott hotel in Overland Park, where Republicans planned to have a victory breakfast this morning.

“There are opportunities for us to try to make sure that there is no permanent division. Primaries within the family are a very difficult thing,” Moran said after his victory speech. “Our country is in desperate need of leadership. It’s way past time for Republicans to continue having bickering.”

At his own election-night party at the Wichita Airport Hilton, Tiahrt congratulated Moran as the state’s next senator and promised to work for GOP candidates.

“I do not want a Democrat senator from the state of Kansas,” he said.

Moran is expected to win the November election easily in GOP-leaning Kansas, which hasn’t elected a Democrat to the U.S. Senate since 1932. Johnston is making her first run for office.

The seat they’re seeking is held by Sam Brownback, a conservative Republican who is running for governor instead of seeking another term in the Senate. Brownback overwhelmingly won his GOP primary race against token opposition.

11:35 p.m. update

From the Associated Press:

Kansas Republicans have chosen Congressman Jerry Moran as their nominee for an open U.S. Senate seat in a bitter primary race where both candidates actively courted GOP conservatives.

Moran overcame a strong challenge from fellow Rep. Todd Tiahrt. The key issue for many voters was which longtime politician would be more aggressive in fighting President Barack Obama and his fellow Democrats.

Moran promoted endorsements from conservative senators such as tea party favorite Jim DeMint of South Carolina, while Tiahrt had the backing of former GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin.

Baker University assistant dean Lisa Johnston won the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate.

Kansas hasn't put a Democrat in the Senate since 1932.

11:29 p.m. update

Jerry Moran has won the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate, beating Todd Tiahrt in one of the closest primary races across the state.

He will face Lisa Johnston in the November general election.

Voters in Douglas County also elected Moran over Tiahrt. Moran received 54 percent of the county vote and 57.1 percent of the Lawrence vote.

View a precinct breakdown for this race.

10:43 p.m. update

Douglas County voters agreed with the rest of the state when it came to selecting Lisa Johnston for the Democratic U.S. Senate nomination.

Johnston received 31.3 percent of county votes and 32.4 percent of Lawrence votes. Her closest threat, Charles Schollenberger, received 18.2 percent of county votes and 18.3 percent of Lawrence votes.

View the precinct breakdown for this race.

10:30 p.m. update

Lisa Johnston has won the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate. From the Associated Press:

A college administrator has won the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate.

Lisa Johnston, an assistant dean at Baker University in Baldwin City, overcame four others in Tuesday's primary.

Johnston has worked 17 years in higher education and oversees support services for students at Baker. She lives in Overland Park.

She defeated state Sen. David Haley of Kansas City; Charles Schollenberger, a former newspaper reporter and editor from Prairie Village; Lawrence attorney and accountant Patrick Wiesner; and retired Shawnee railroad engineer Robert Conroy.

Kansas hasn't elected a Democrat to the U.S. Senate since 1932.

9:53 p.m. update

From the Associated Press:

Kansas Congressman Jerry Moran held a narrow lead Tuesday night in a contentious battle for the Republican nomination for a U.S. Senate seat.

Moran had a tough challenge from fellow Congressman Todd Tiahrt. With more than half of the precincts reporting, Moran had 48 percent of the vote to Tiahrt's 46 percent, with two minor candidates splitting the rest.

Five Democrats were vying for their party's nomination, but none was expected to beat either Moran or Tiahrt in the November general election.

Both Moran and Tiahrt courted GOP conservatives and tea party participants.

9:48 p.m. update

All Douglas County precincts are now reporting, and have voted in favor of Jerry Moran for the GOP U.S. Senate nomination. Moran received 54 percent of the county vote and 57.1 percent of the Lawrence vote.

Todd Tiahrt received 38.6 percent of the county vote and 35.7 percent of the Lawrence vote. Tom Little received 3.9 percent in Douglas County and 3.6 percent in Lawrence. Robert Londerholm received 3.4 percent of the county vote and 3.6 percent of the Lawrence vote.

See the precinct breakdown for this race.

9:27 p.m. update

With 867 of 3,316 precincts reporting, Moran and Tiahart are separated by less than 600 votes. Moran has a slight lead with 64,604 to Tiahrt's 64,018.

It's still Johnston over Schollenberger with 873 precincts reporting. Johnston has 12,028 votes followed by Schollenberger with 8,657, Haley with 8,319, Wiesner with 6,217 and Conroy with 3,664.

8:52 p.m. update

The race between Tiahrt and Moran is getting close, folks. With 414 of 3,316 precincts reporting, Moran only leads Tiahrt by four percent.

Lisa Johnston still has 10 percent on Schollenberger with 419 precincts reporting. After Jonston and Schollenberger, that race looks like this:

  • Haley, 19 percent
  • Wiesner, 16 percent
  • Conroy, 10 percent

8:19 p.m. update

Johnston and Moran continue to lead the races for U.S. Senate. Johnston's lead is a close one. With 126 of 3,316 precincts reporting, she's up on Schollenberger by 12 percent.

Moran still has 55 percent of the vote to Tiahrt's 38 percent, but now 120 of 3,316 precincts are reporting.

7:57 p.m. update

Early results show Jerry Moran has the lead on opponent Todd Tiahrt in the GOP race for U.S. Senate. With 18 of 3,316 precincts reporting, Moran has 55 percent of the vote to Tiahrt's 38 percent.

Lisa Johnston is leading the Democrat's race for U.S. Senate with 36 percent of the vote and 21 of 3,316 precincts reporting. Schollnberger is her closest threat with 24 percent of the vote.

7:43 p.m. update

Lisa Johnston is taking an early lead over Charles Schollenberger, Patrick Wiesner, Robert Conroy and David Haley in the Democratic race for the U.S. Senate nomination. Johnston has 38.8 percent of the vote. Her closest threat is Schollenberger with 23.5 percent.

Jerry Moran is building an early lead on Todd Tiahrt, Tom Little and Robert Londerholm. Moran currently has 68.9 percent of the Republican vote.

— Online editor Whitney Mathews contributed to this story.

Comments

Chris Bohling 4 years ago

Great to hear that Moran won. I didn't want to register as a Republican so I couldn't vote in the GOP primary but in my experience he's a much better ambassador for our state than Tiahrt. I usually vote Democrat but I haven't been all that impressed by any of the Dem candidates so Moran will strongly challenge for my vote.

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CrystalKU 4 years ago

Why are all of these breaking news texts? I signed up for breaking news text to warn me about severe weather or traffic issues, not to get 20 text messages about the primaries. I had to turn my phone on silent, if I wanted to stay updated on the results of the election I would check the LJWorld or watch the news, this is ridiculous! I wasn't sure where else to vent. Apparently I have to unsubscribe to breaking news alerts when things like the draft or election are going on.

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olddognewtrix 4 years ago

Moran is not owned by Koch Industries, who along with Boeing tried to buy the election for Tiahrt. Plus Moran has some human qualities that may allow him to grow in office instead of an automatic knee jerk "NO" vote.

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Abdu Omar 4 years ago

He follows party line, never thinking through an issue. What may be good for the USA is usually not how he votes. He follows the Rep line 100%. So what do we have for a candidate. I want someone who will think and research problems so they can be solved, not an automatic "NO". He voted no all the time, so he says, but did he add anything to the program or to the bill in front of him? No and No is a No but to be more aggressive and propose something is what we Kansans need

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Danielle Brunin 4 years ago

Ha! I was going to ask the same thing. Then again, you could just replace dumb or dumber with crazy or crazier.

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Steve Jacob 4 years ago

Laugh all you want about this. But you know how Lisa Johnston won? 5 candidates nobody knows of, so women are going to vote for the only female on the ballot. It does not matter, because Moran beats whomever, but I think it's true.

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anonyname 4 years ago

@srj: Have you never voted for a politician not of your own gender? Are you really so simplistic?

@LJW: Perhaps it's time to change the caption on the photo on the front page of the web site. You know, the one saying there are four candidates vying for the GOP Senate nomination.

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Jimo 4 years ago

Hmmmm... 1. I'm tempted to say this is another example of mainstream Republicans defeating the extremist wing of the Party. That said, Moran had to pretend to be quite crazy in order to win over a few of the crazies.
2. Palin's blessing (a) probably is the main reason Tiahrt was competitive and (b) probably is the main reason Tiahrt lost. 3. Moran follows a long history of the Representative from the 1st District in W. Kansas filling a Senate seat. (Trivia: the last Rep. not to do so was Keith Sebelius, father in law to Kathleen Sebelius.) 4. Voters were sensitive to Tiahrt's C-Street corruption although that was hardly decisive given this issue is outside the knowledge and vision of most "Fox Republicans." Moran risked bringing it up but it seems to have paid off. 5. Moran's weaknesses for the general: Not many. He's been tailoring his votes with an eye to winning over enough of the radical GOP that they're not going to desert him despite preferring other candidates. Weakest spots: not as pro-elderly as you'd expect, gung-ho pro-war votes

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mcontrary 4 years ago

Save us, please. Their "conservative values" are not what what anyone needs. Up with big business and down with everyone else, particularly the blind idiots that support them.

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Kontum1972 4 years ago

sorry crystalku....it might get worse after the new company takes over....u will get dueling banjos from georgia...as background muzak....

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Lora Gilliland Schneider 4 years ago

@Mcontrary - What do you need saved from, exactly? Saved from a country with basic morals and the opportunity that every person has a right to voice their opinion and seek their own fortune? Calling Republicans "blind idiots" is hypocracy! Without the "Big Business" you speak of- this country wouldn't offer all the luxuries I'm sure YOU partake of! I know many wonderful, caring, philanthropic, accepting and tolerant "big business type" Republicans who listen to everyone's opinons (even opinions of people from other religions, beliefs etc) and want what's best for the country What I don't understand is how Liberals (like yourself) are so quick to judge and point fingers - yet be the least tolerant of others who might think differently on some topics from you. If you don' t like Moran- don't vote for him. I, however, will be.

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ksjayhawk74 4 years ago

from Sarah Palin's FaceBook posting yesterday...

"I want to remind the good people of Kansas to vote on Tuesday for Todd Tiahrt for U.S. Senate. He is a strong commonsense conservative who will serve Kansans with honor and help put our country on the right fiscal track."

Oh no! The Republican candidate isn't Sarah Palin approved. Maybe not enough of the "good people of Kansas" got out to vote. Obviously more of the bad people voted.

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yourworstnightmare 4 years ago

Tweedle-dumb won! I suppose this is good, as Tweedle-dumb is not as scary extreme as Tweedle-dee (although you wouldn't know it from campaign rhetoric).

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MyName 4 years ago

Well either would have ended up being a Republican rubber stamp, but at least we got the less abrasive rubber stamp.

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blindrabbit 4 years ago

As a not religious Democrat all I can say about the outcome of this primary-----Thank God!!

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whats_going_on 4 years ago

I'm surprised Tiahrt came as close as he did....from what I saw and am seeing now, the guy seems like a huge drain on the universe.

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Stain 4 years ago

The Sarah Palin kiss of death strikes again. I couldn't be more pleased.

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