General Election Report
It was a big night for the GOP
Republicans had a very good election in 2020. Kansas voters pushed back against millions of dollars dumped into Kansas races by Democrats from across the nation. While many predicted a shift away from the current supermajority for Republicans in the Kansas Senate and House, voters had a different result in mind as Republicans increased their supermajority in both chambers. The Kansas House of Representatives will have between 86 to 89 Republicans while the Kansas Senate will have 29 Republicans in the majority. A supermajority (over 2/3) requires the majority to have 84 and 27 members, respectively, in each chamber. Maintaining a supermajority was a critical goal of Republican leadership to have the necessary votes needed to override any veto issued by Democrat Governor Laura Kelly. Additionally, a supermajority is required to pass a resolution allowing Kansans to vote on a constitutional amendment, “Value Them Both Amendment,” related to abortion—a key goal of Republican leaders. There are a handful of House races currently too close to call.
Congressman Roger Marshall successfully overcame millions of dollars from Democrats across the country in a fairly dominant victory over Barbara Bollier for the United States Senate seat from Kansas. Former Lieutenant Governor Tracey Mann won the First District Congressional race. State Treasurer Jake LaTurner won the Second District Congressional race. Finally, Congresswoman Sharice Davids and Congressman Ron Estes both retained their respective congressional seats.
Federal Results in Kansas
D-Joseph R. Biden 541,453 41%
R-Donald J. Trump 744,904 57%
D-Barbara Bollier 543,275 41%
R-Roger Marshall 703,414 54%
U.S. House of Representatives 1
D-Kali Barnett 81,131 29%
R-Tracey Mann 203,534 71%
U.S. House of Representatives 2
D-Michelle De La Isla 132,273 40%
R-Jake LaTurner 181,220 55%
U.S. House of Representatives 3
D-Sharice Davids 212,084 53%
R-Amanda Adkins 173,621 44%
U.S. House of Representatives 4
D-Laura Lombard 103,721 35%
R-Ron Estes 190,328 65%
Kansas Legislative Results
Kansas State Senate
Republicans grew their supermajority to 29-11
Some Key Races:
- Senate 5: Jeff Pittman (D-Ft. Leavenworth) defeated incumbent Kevin Braun (R-Kansas City)
- Senate 9: Beverly Gossage (R-Olathe) beat Stacey Knoell (D-Olathe). Gossage got on the ballot last-minute after incumbent Julia Lynn requested to be removed due to personal medical reasons.
- Senate 18: Kristen O’Shea (R-Topeka) bested Tobias Schlingensiepen (D-Topeka) 59% to 41% in the district Governor Kelly once held.
- Senate 19: In what was a surprise to many, longtime incumbent Anthony Hensley (D-Topeka) lost to Rick Kloos (R-Topeka) 49% to 51%. Hensley, the Senate Minority Leader, is the longest-serving state legislator in the country with 44 years in the House and Senate. Local and national Republicans targeted this seat, seeing an opportunity to flip a district that went for Trump in 2016.
Kansas State House
Republicans grew their supermajority to at least 86-39
House Seats that Changed Parties:
- District 3: Rep. Monica Murnan lost to Republican Chuck Smith
- District 17: Democrat Jo Ella Hoye beat Republican Kristine Sapp
- District 20: Democrat Mari-Lynn Poskin beat Republican Jane Dirks
- District 41: Republican Pat Proctor beat Democrat Mike Griswold
- District 48: Republican Terry Frederick beat Democrat Rep. Jennifer Day
- District 72: Rep. Tim Hodge lost to Republican Avery Anderson
- District 96: Rep. Stephanie Yeager lost to Republican Tom Kessler
Close Races to Watch in the House:
- District 16: Democrat Linda Featherstone has a 14-vote lead over Republican Rashard Young
- District 48: Republican Frederick has a 5-vote lead over Rep. Day
- District 102: Rep. Jason Probst has a 5-vote lead over Republican John Whitesel
House Leadership races are scheduled to be held on December 8. You can bet those vying for a leadership post have already hit the phones and the road to campaign. It will be a furious race to the finish line for elections that many Kansans don’t know about or don't pay much attention to with less than a month. In the House, the incumbent Speaker Ron Ryckman (R-Olathe), Speaker Pro Tem Blaine Finch (R-Ottawa), and Majority Leader Dan Hawkins (R-Wichita) are running as a unified team. We might see a challenge to one or more of these posts, but the safe money is that we will see the same leadership team in 2021.
The Senate is a vastly different story. Current Senate President Susan Wagle (R-Wichita) and Majority Leader Jim Denning (R-Overland Park) have retired, opening up those critical posts. With the new, even more, conservative Senate composition, successful leadership candidates will be those who can best rally support the caucus's conservative base. Early hall talk and insight on these races bears the following:
- Ty Masterson (R-Wichita) seems to be the front-runner to replace Wagle as Senate President. Current Senate Vice President Jeff Longbine (R-Emporia) is mounting a challenge. Still, as the more moderate candidate who supported many of the incumbent senators who lost in the Primary, his path to winning appears more challenging. But, anything is possible as the horse-trading for committee chairmanship and committee appointments are made.
- For Majority Leader, both Carolyn McGinn (R-Sedgwick) and Gene Suellentrop (R-Wichita) have declared their candidacy for this important post, which controls which bills come to the floor for consideration. Suellentrop is viewed as the more conservative candidate, which may give him a leg up on McGinn. But, McGinn, like Longbine, is a savvy Senate veteran who will be a formidable candidate.
- In the Senate Vice President's race, we are hearing that conservatives Molly Baumgarder (R-Louisburg) and Rick Wilborn (R-McPherson) are vying for this post.
- With incumbent Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley losing, there is not much concrete on the Democrats' direction. There could be a door open for newcomers to the Senate, Ethan Corson (D-Fairway), or Cindy Holscher (D-Overland Park).
- Incumbent House Minority Leader Tom Sawyer (D-Wichita) may face a challenge based upon our insight. Brett Parker (D-Overland Park) is the name that has been on the radar as a potential challenger based upon his efforts to recruit and elect Democrat candidates, particularly in Johnson County.
KAIA will keep an eye on the leadership races as they have a significant impact on chairmanships and committee make-up—and on your issues—as we head into the 2021 Session.
Big ‘I’ Update on the 2020 Federal Election
Watch a breakdown of the 2020 presidential and congressional elections in a short video from the Big “I.”