State Rep. Barbara Ballard, D-Lawrence, on Tuesday won another two-year term representing Kansas House District 44 by defeating Republican political newcomer Patrick Bengtson, 71 percent to 29 percent with 15 of 16 precincts reporting.
Ballard, first elected in 1992, said she will work to try to restore cuts that have been made over the past several years to public schools. "We are going to have a long conversation on school funding," Ballard said.
Bengtson, an attorney, was making his first foray into running for office. He also campaigned on the need for more school funding and said the district needed a new voice.
He congratulated Ballard, thanked his supporters and said he hoped that during the next legislation session "more common ground can be found."