Monday, August 4, 2008

Primary predictions: Kansas House, KS BOE

Though we skipped a few state Senate races in our previous post, we attempted to address each primary, even the one's that were a foregone conclusion. Obviously, with 125 seats up for election, there are quite a few primary races in the Kansas House of Representatives, and as such we have been more selective about which races we included. Again, nothing in this post is intended to be an endorsement of any particular candidate or to reflect our desired outcome. They are merely objective (well, sort of) predictions based, at least in part, on facts.

Kansas House of Representatives, District 9, Republican:
Bill Otto(i) vs. Sheila Lampe: Bill Otto is one of those representatives that makes you feel sorry for the people in his district. Not only are his politics out of step with...oh...just about everyone, he's also just flat out ridiculously weird. Unfortunately for the people of the 9th District, it doesn't look like Sheila Lampe, who is immensely qualified, will be up to the task. She lost to Otto in 2006 and though she is relatively even with Otto in the financials, past performance as well as the power of the incumbency don't bode well for her. Otto.

Kansas House of Representatives, District 19, Republican:
John Skubal vs. James Walker: Classic Johnson County Moderate v. Conservative showdown. In this case, Overland Park City Councilman John Skubal is the moderate and retired Marine James Walker is the conservative. On the money front, Walker has outspent Skubal 10 to 1, however Skubal filed his report showing nearly $9,000 cash on hand to Walker's 50 bucks. That money doesn't do him any good if it goes unspent, but we think that money left over for the final push as well as the name recognition he receives as a City Councilman will be enough. Skubal.

Kansas House of Representatives, District 23, Republican:
August Bogina vs. John Crabtree: Another day, another conservative v. moderate Republican primary in Johnson County. The winner will face 2006 candidate Milack Talia for the seat being vacated by Republican Judy Morrison. Take a look at the endorsements so far in this one and see if you can figure out who the con is and who the mod is. Bogina has received endorsements from the National Rifle Association and Kansans for Life, Crabtree is preferred by KNEA and Biz-PAC. We'll call the endorsement game a wash, since both candidates are receiving support from the big mobilizers in their respective movements. How about the money? They've each spent approximately $3,000, Bogina filed with more cash on hand, but also has substantial debts. Again, pretty much a wash. When it comes down to it, all things being equal, you have to go with the conservative in these low-turnout primaries. Bogina.

Kansas House of Representatives, District 24, Democrat:
Andy Sandler vs. Mike Slattery: This is one of only a few seriously contested Democratic primaries in the Kansas House with the winner to face Republican incumbent Ronnie Metsker. Sandler ran for the seat in 2006 and Mike Slattery is the son of former Congressman and Democratic US Senate Candidate Jim Slattery. Both candidates have spent a substantial amount of money, but Slattery can only benefit from the significant campaign organization being built by his dad. M. Slattery.

Kansas House of Representatives, District 57, Democrat:
Sean Gatewood vs. Andrew Fields vs. Dustin Hardison: Gatewood and Hardison are the only candidates in this primary who have spent any money, and Hardison has outspent Gatewood 6 to 1. Hardison, a former staffer for Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, has received financial support from several statehouse Democrats and looks to be in a good position to move on. Hardison.

Kansas House of Representatives, District 74, Republican:
Mitch Powell vs. Don Schroeder(i): Powell has received the endorsement of the National Rifle Association, but Schroeder has outspent him 6 to 1. As an incumbent, if Schroeder spends his money in anything even closely resembling an intelligent fashion, all the endorsements in the world won't help Powell. Schroeder.

Kansas House of Representatives, District 81, Republican:
Patsy Allen vs. Jeri Anderson vs. Arlene Burrow vs. Peter DeGraaf vs. Carlene Eye: This five-way primary for the seat formerly held by the late Ted Powers should be one of the more interesting races in all of Kansas come tomorrow. DeGraaf is technically the incumbent, having been sworn in during Sine Die after winning a special election. He and Anderson are the only two to have raised any significant campaign funds, but DeGraaf has raised $11,000 to Anderson's $4,000. DeGraaf won amongst the precinct committee persons and has a substantial money advantage. The winner will face Democrat Mark Hardison, father of 57th District candidate Dustin Hardison. DeGraaf.

Kansas House of Representatives, District 84, Democrat:
Inga Taylor vs. Gail Finney: Just like the 29th Senate District, this seat which was once held by Donald Betts (before Oletha Faust-Goudeau) faces a Democratic primary. Finney, an office-holder in the Sedgwick County Democratic primary, raised a respectable sum of nearly $6,000, but Taylor brought in a surprising haul of just a shade under $13,000. Both are fairly well known in the district, but a 2 to 1 fundraising disadvantage will be tough to overcome. Taylor.

Kansas House of Representatives, District 118, Republican:
Virginia Beemer(i) vs. Don Hineman: And the award for best-funded primary challenger of an incumbent goes to...Don Hineman!! Hineman, the chairman of the moderate, pro-evolution group Kansas Alliance for Education, raised $17,225.00, of which he has spent over $15,000 to unseat the incumbent. He has been a Dighton City Councilman and a Lane County Commissioner. Hineman is well-known, well-funded and has a message that sells in western Kansas. Hineman.

Kansas Board of Education, District 2, Republican:
Mary Ca Ralston vs. Brandon Kenig:
Brandon Kenig is a 22 year-old, uber-conservative blogger from the Johnson County area. We're all for bloggers and young people getting involved in the political process, but Kenig is a little too much like Ben Hodge he only has a few hundred dollars to work with. Ralston.

Kansas Board of Education, District 6, Republican:
Kathy Martin(i) vs. Bill Pannbacker: Martin is as crazy as crazy gets. She ousted an incumbent moderate Republican in the 2004 primary, so she knows how to take out well-funded, well-liked pro-Science Republicans. Pannbacker does have a slight fundraising edge, $6,900 to $5,900 and has been modestly outspent $2,700 to $2,000. Pannbacker is a moderate who served four years on a local school board in Washington County before it was consolidated. As much as it pains us, Pannbacker may be on a fool's errand. Martin.

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