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LIVE COVERAGE: Kansas voters set stage for U.S. Senate showdown, other key races

Published: Aug. 3, 2020 at 4:21 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 4, 2020 at 7:20 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) -- The stage is set for several key races at the local, state and national levels after voters across Kansas turn out for Tuesday’s primary election.

The biggest story Tuesday night drew attention from beyond the Sunflower State. In the race to replace Pat Robers in the U.S. Senate, Republican Roger Marshall and Democrat Barbara Bollier won their party’s primaries Tuesday to advance to the general election.

You can see more big winners from Tuesday and what lies ahead in November in the updates below.

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Update 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020: Kali Barnett has won the Democratic primary in Kansas’ 1st District. The 35-year-old author and music teacher from Garden City defeated Christy Davis, the former executive director of Symphony in the Flint Hills.

Barnett will face Salina real estate broker and former Lt. Gov. Tracey Mann in the November contest for the congressional seat being vacated by Republican Rep. Roger Marshall, who on Tuesday won the GOP nomination for the U.S. Senate.

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Los resultados de la contienda para la Cámara del estado Distrito 1 declaran a Tracey Mann como el ganador de el partido republicano, quien dice que es pro agrigultura, pro segunda enmienda y pro presidente Trump.

La ganadora de el partido demócrata es Kali Barnett quien dice que que espera ser un ejemplo para otras mujeres y niñas por todo el país que quieran ser un cambio en la comunidad. La Cámara del estado Distrito uno no ha sido representada por una mujer desde el 1932, lo que hacen esta contienda única.

Mann y Barnett se enfrentarán en la elección general en noviembre.

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Update 10:15 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020: Salina real estate broker and former Lt. Gov. Tracey Mann has won the Republican primary in Kansas’ 1st District.

Mann defeated eye surgeon and Finney County Commissioner Bill Clifford, physician’s assistant Jerry Molstad and reverend Michael Soetaert.

Mann will face the Democratic nominee in the November contest for the congressional seat being vacated by Republican Rep. Roger Marshall, who ran for the U.S. Senate. But Mann will be heavily favored in a district that hasn’t been won by a Democrat since the 1950s.

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Update 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020: Kansas Republicans have nominated Rep. Roger Marshall for the Senate over polarizing conservative Kris Kobach.

The results of Tuesday’s primary were in line with the GOP establishment’s backing of the two-term western Kansas congressman in hopes of keeping the open seat out of play in the November election.

Many Republicans worried about Kobach winning the nomination because the former Kansas secretary of state is known nationally for advocating restrictive immigration polices and lost the 2018 Kansas governor’s race after alienating independent and moderate Republican voters.

Marshall faces Democratic state Sen. Barbara Bollier in the November election for retiring GOP Sen. Pat Roberts’ seat. She’s raised more than $8 million for her campaign.

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Update 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020: Michelle De La Isla is the projected winner in the Democratic primary for U.S. House District 2. De La Isla is challenging for the seat currently occupied by Rep. Steve Watkins. In the Republican primary for U.S. House District 2, early results show Kansas Treasurer Jake La Turner with a lead over Watkins and Dennis Taylor.

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Update 8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020: Barbara Bollier is declared the Democratic primary winner for U.S. Senate. The race was called with Bollier approaching 58,000 votes compared to about 5,000 for Robert Tillman.

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Update 7:45 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020: Results are beginning to filter in from races to represent Kansas in the U.S. Senate and First Congressional District. Early results show Roger Marshall with a slight early lead in the GOP primary for the U.S. Senate race to replace Pat Roberts.

Kris Kobach trails Marshall by about 6,000 votes, followed by Bob Hamilton and David Lindstrom. In the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate, Barbara Bollier holds an early, but commanding lead over Robert Tillman.

You can see complete results as they come in here: LIVE ELECTION RESULTS.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE CAMPAIGN 2020 COVERAGE

Polls are closed. Jacob Albracht is here following LIVE developments as results come in. Stick with #KWCH12 for continuous Campaign 2020 coverage: https://bit.ly/2DjD0K4

Posted by KWCH 12 Eyewitness News on Tuesday, August 4, 2020

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Update 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020: Polls in the primary election are closed. Stick with us for live coverage in key races at every level as results filter in.

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Update 6 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020: Kansas voters have about one hour remaining to make their voices heard in the primary election that will narrow fields in several key races across every level.

You have until 7 p.m. to cast your ballot in-person. If you did a mail-in ballot, those also must be postmarked by 7 p.m.

Our Team 12 coverage continues on the major races across the state including the U.S. Senate race to replace Pat Roberts and the “Big First” U.S. House District.

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Update 5 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020: Kansans have about two hours remaining until polls close for the primary election that will narrow Republican and Democratic fields in key races at the national, state and local levels.

We have teams spread across the state, following a few of the bigger races including the U.S. Senate race to replace Pat Roberts. Tuesday, Republican voters who haven’t already made their voices heard through advanced voting are casting ballots to narrow the GOP Senate field from 11 to one.

Another key national race we’re covering Tuesday night is Kansas’ First Congressional District. Roger Marshall is stepping down from the position representing much of central and western Kansas to challenge for Roberts’ soon-to-be-vacant seat in the U.S. Senate.

Stick with KWCH 12 on-air and online to keep up with complete election coverage as the evening rolls along.

Big First District coverage in Spanish (la Cámara del estado por el Distrito 1)

WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Los ciudadanos que tienen derecho al voto en el estado de Kansas deben depositar o enviar por correo su boleta electoral antes de las 7 p.m.

Hay varias contiendas en juego en estas elecciones primarias, donde los votantes elegirán a los representantes de su partido.

Una de las carreras políticas claves en el estado es para la Cámara del estado por el Distrito 1, que ha sido tradicionalmente dominada por representantes republicanos. Este distrito abarca 63 condados en el norte y oeste de Kansas, más de la mitad del estado, haciéndolo el séptimo distrito más grande en la nación que no cubre todo un estado.

Algunas ciudades que componen este distrito son Manhattan, Salina, Dodge City, Emporia, Garden City, Hays y Hutchinson.

El distrito ha sido representando por el republicano Roger Marshall desde el 2016.

Este año las elecciones primarias son algo únicas con dos candidatas Demócratas luchando por representar el partido este noviembre y reemplazar al representante Roger Marshall, quien aspira por ganar el puesto de Pat Roberts en el senado.

Las demócratas que aparecen en la boleta demócrata en estas elecciones son Kali Barnett y Christy Cauble Davis.

En el partido republicano, la competencia principal es entre el ex vicegobernador Tracey Mann y el comisionado del condado Finney, Bill Clifford.

La secretaria de la oficina electoral en el condado de Finney, Dori Munyan, dice que este año hubo un incremento de votantes durante la votación temprana, que se llevó a cabo desde el 15 de julio hasta el 3 de agosto.

Munyan dice que las votaciones en persona el día de hoy han sido constantes, pero no abrumadoras.

Este año enviaron 457 boletas por correo y para el día de ayer, la oficina había obtenido 340 boletas de regreso.

También 901 personas votaron este año durante las votaciones tempranas, lo cual ella dice ha sido una gran participación en comparación a otros años.

En el 2016, 362 personas votaron por avanzado a comparación del 2018 donde 329 personas votaron por avanzado.

En general esperan un aumento en las votaciones primarias este año.

En el condado de Ford, la secretaria de la oficina de electoral, Debbie Cox, dice que se enviaron cercas de 1,500 boletas por correo.

Cox dice que han visto un incremento en participación para este tipo de elecciones.

Esperan aproximadamente un 38% en participación.

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Monday, Aug. 3, 2020

A big day for Kansas politics comes Tuesday with the Aug. 4 primary election to narrow the fields in several key races on the local, state, and national levels. Record-breaking advanced voting shows more widespread interest in the primary that precedes the Nov. 3 general election in which race winners will emerge.

The biggest race in Kansas -- in terms of the number of candidates -- is the U.S. Senate race to replace retiring lawmaker Pat Roberts. Tuesday, the GOP primary will narrow the field of 11 candidates vying for the Republican nod to show up on November’s general election ballot. The biggest battle in the race is between Rep. Roger Marshall, former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, Bob Hamilton, and Dave Lindstrom.

The Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate seat includes Kansas Senator Barbara Bollier and Robert Tillman. Depending on the outcome of the GOP primary, Kansas could potentially be in place to have its first Democratic U.S. senator since the 1930s.

For the first time in decades, the nation will be following the race for an open Kansas Senate seat.

“If Democrat wins the seat in Kansas, it is very likely on the same day or in the same election year, the Democrats are winning enough seats elsewhere to take back control of the Senate,” CBS News Political Correspondent Ed O’Keefe said.

O’Keefe pointe to polling that shows the seat currently filled by Pat Roberts, is at risk this year for Republicans. President Trump has not endorsed a Republican candidate and one of the big names in the race, Kobach, lost to a Democrat in the 2018 Kansas governor’s race. Democrats see this as an opening.

“Since Kobach did such a terrible job and list in 2018, Republicans are worried that he could very well do it again,” O’Keefe said. ‘And so there is great concern here in Washington, among Republicans who track these things. Big pressure being put on the president to try to weigh in before Kansas Republicans head to the polls.”

O’Keefe said all eyes are on Kansas because right now, Republicans control the U.S. Senate and Democrats only need a few seats to gain that control. They’re looking at Kansas as a possible swing state.

“...Keep in mind that you know, increasingly, it is looking like Democrats have the opportunity to take back control of the Senate,” he said. “That is a big deal, no matter what. It is a bigger deal if Joe Biden is also able to win the presidency because that would give Democrats potentially full control of Washington. So, who would have thought that Kansas would help make that happen?”

Elsewhere in Kansas, the race for traditionally-Republican-held U.S. House District 1 (the Big First) features a unique race in the Democratic primary with two women vying for the party’s nod to appear on the November ballot to replace Rep. Roger Marshall who’s running for Pat Roberts’ soon-to-be-vacant U.S. Senate seat. On the Democratic side, Kali Barnett and Christy Cauble Davis appear on the primary ballot

In the GOP U.S. House District 1 primary, the main competition is between former Kansas Lieutenant Governor Tracey Mann and Finney County Commissioner Bill Clifford. The Big First includes rural counties across central and western Kansas.

Another U.S. House District race to keep an eye on is U.S. House District 2 where, in the GOP primary, incumbent Steve Watkins faces several challengers including Kansas State Treasurer Jake LaTurner. This race has made headlines in recent weeks with charges of voter fraud against Watkins. U.S. House District 2 includes much of eastern Kansas, including Topeka and Lawrence.

At the state level, Patrick Penn challenges incumbent Michael Capps in the GOP primary for Kansas House District 85, representing part of east Wichita and a portion of western Butler County. In connection with an attack ad against Wichita Mayor Brandon Whipple, the local Republican party had called on Capps to resign.

Locally, a couple of Sedgwick County commissioners face challengers Tuesday in the GOP primary. Incumbent Sedgwick County District 2 Commissioner Micahel O’Donnell faces a pair of challengers. In District 3, incumbent David Dennis also faces a challenger in Hunter Larkin.

In Butler County, Sheriff Kelly Herzet is retiring from law enforcement and running for a Butler County Commission seat. In Tuesday’s Republican primary, three candidates are running for the party’s nod to appear on November’s ballot to replace Herzet as sheriff.

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