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Kansas midterm elections make history

Laura Kelly became the first Democrat elected as Kansas governor since Kathleen Sebelius was re-elected in 2006.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Laura Kelly became the first Democrat elected as Kansas governor since Kathleen Sebelius was re-elected in 2006.

Kaegan Cowan, Web Editor

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Tuesday, Nov. 6 was, as expected, an interesting day when it came to the midterm elections. Nationwide, a “blue wave” of Democratic candidates won elections to become members of the House of Representatives, giving the party a majority, yet the Republican majority in the Senate held firm.

In Kansas, a couple of elections made history; namely, the gubernatorial and House of Representatives District 3 elections. Democrat Laura Kelly defeated Republican Kris Kobach to become the governor-elect of Kansas. Kelly became the first Democrat elected as Kansas governor since Kathleen Sebelius won re-election in 2006. Kelly ran on a platform emphasizing healthcare, education and fixing Kansas’ budget woes incurred under former Gov. Sam Brownback. Kobach’s platform focused on anti-immigration viewpoints as well as tax cuts.

In Kansas’ third congressional district, Democrat Sharice Davids defeated incumbent Republican Kevin Yoder. This election was significant because Davids will become the first openly gay representative in Congress as well as the first Native American woman to win that position.

The three other congressional elections in Kansas were won by Republicans, two of whom were incumbents. The only non-incumbent winner was Steve Watkins in District 2, who defeated Democrat Paul Davis by less than 5,000 votes. Ron Estes won re-election in District 4, which includes Sedgwick County, and Dr. Roger Marshall won District 1.

Kansas is traditionally considered a very conservative state, so Republicans have historically won most elections, but 2018’s midterm elections showed a departure (if slight) from that pattern with two Democrats elected to major political positions. 2020’s elections will see all six of Kansas’ electoral votes up for grabs (the four House spots plus both Senate seats), along with the next presidential election for the United States; if the presidential election is close, there is a growing chance that Kansas could be a battleground state.

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Kansas midterm elections make history