Kansas Republicans win races for secretary of state, insurance commissioner, attorney general, treasurer; Estes and Marshall keep congressional seats

photo by: Associated Press

In this Wednesday, March 18, 2015 file photo, Kansas state Rep. Scott Schwab speaks at the Statehouse in Topeka, Kan. (AP Photo/Nicholas Clayton, file)

Schwab defeats McClendon in secretary of state contest

Republican state Rep. Scott Schwab has won the Kansas secretary of state’s race two years after his 10-year-old son died in an accident at a water park.

Schwab defeated Democrat Brian McClendon in Tuesday’s election. Schwab had been favored because Democrats have not elected a Kansas secretary of state in 70 years.

Schwab, from Olathe, is the Kansas House speaker pro tem and a former House Elections Committee chairman. He backed tough voter identification policies championed by Republican Secretary of State Kris Kobach.

Schwab’s son, Caleb, died in August 2016 on a giant waterslide at the Schlitterbahn park in Kansas City, Kan.

McClendon is a former Google and Uber executive who returned to his hometown of Lawrence last year.

Kobach gave up the secretary of state’s office to run for governor.

Schmidt wins insurance commissioner race

Republican state Sen. Vicki Schmidt has been elected Kansas insurance commissioner.

The Topeka lawmaker defeated Democrat Nathaniel McLaughlin, of Kansas City, Kansas, in Tuesday’s election.

Schmidt is a pharmacist who has served in the Senate since 2005. She is chairwoman of its Public Health and Welfare Committee and has been a key player on health legislation.

She’s also a GOP moderate who has supported expanding the state’s Medicaid health coverage for the poor and disabled following the 2010 federal Affordable Care Act.

McLaughlin is a former regional manager for a health services company and has served as president of the state NAACP chapter. He ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 2016.

Incumbent Insurance Commissioner Ken Selzer unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination for governor this year.

Incumbent retains attorney general post

Republican Derek Schmidt has won a third term as Kansas attorney general.

Schmidt easily defeated Democrat and Lawrence attorney Sarah Swain in Tuesday’s election after the Kansas Democratic Party refused to support her.

The Democratic Party called on Swain to drop out of the race in June because of a poster in her law office showing the superhero Wonder Woman pulling a lasso around a police officer’s neck. Critics said the poster promoted violence against law enforcement officers.

Swain apologized but said it was meant as a metaphor for cross-examination and a zealous defense of clients. She also said she had seen injustices caused by “less-than-honest police officers.”

Schmidt is a former Kansas Senate majority leader who was first elected attorney general in 2010 and re-elected in 2014.

LaTurner wins full term as treasurer

Republican incumbent Jake LaTurner has won a full, four-year term as Kansas state treasurer after being appointed last year to the office.

LaTurner prevailed in Tuesday’s election over Democratic state Sen. Marci Francisco, of Lawrence.

He was appointed in April 2017 by former Republican Gov. Sam Brownback to replace Republican Ron Estes, who won a special election for the Wichita-area congressional seat formerly held by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

LaTurner was a state senator from Pittsburg at the time. He was first elected to the Senate in 2012.

Francisco is a former Lawrence mayor who was first elected to the Senate in 2004.

The treasurer’s most visible programs find owners of unclaimed property and manage education savings accounts and savings accounts for the disabled.

Marshall keeps 1st District seat

Freshman Republican Rep. Roger Marshall has won re-election in his western Kansas congressional district.

Marshall easily prevailed in Tuesday’s election over Democrat Alan LaPolice in the 1st District.

The district covers the western two-thirds of Kansas and is among the safest for the GOP in the nation. Republicans have represented western Kansas in Congress for more than 60 years.

Marshall is a Great Bend physician who won the seat with establishment GOP support in 2016 by ousting tea party Rep. Tim Huelskamp in the primary.

LaPolice was making his third run for the seat. He also lost to Marshall in the 2016 general election running as an independent candidate and unsuccessfully challenged Huelskamp in the GOP primary in 2014. He is an Army veteran who farms near Clyde.

Estes takes 4th District

Republican Rep. Ron Estes has won a full term in Congress representing a Wichita-area district he first won in a tight special election last year for the seat formerly held by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Estes defeated Democrat James Thompson in a heavily Republican 4th District that President Donald Trump won with 60 percent of the vote in 2016. Pompeo won re-election that year by 31 points. Pompeo’s resignation to join Trump’s administration led to a special election in which Estes defeated Thompson, a civil rights attorney.

Republicans have represented the 17-county southcentral Kansas district since 1994. Estes was the state’s former two-term state treasurer.

The campaign was marked by personal attacks, with Estes pushing stories about Thompson’s previous brushes with the law and Thompson slamming Estes for accepting donations from political action committees.


Welcome to the new LJWorld.com. Our old commenting system has been replaced with Facebook Comments. There is no longer a separate username and password login step. If you are already signed into Facebook within your browser, you will be able to comment. If you do not have a Facebook account and do not wish to create one, you will not be able to comment on stories.