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Kansas Conservatives Score Big Wins In Primary Election

By: news@kake.com
By: news@kake.com

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August 8, 2012

Kansas Senate President Steve Morris was among the incumbent lawmakers ousted in Tuesday's primary election.

Morris, of Hugoton, lost to conservative challenger Larry Powell by 300 votes. Morris was first elected Senate President in 2004.

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A conservative Kansas House member has succeeded in unseating a moderate state senator, the second time the two have faced off in a Republican primary in the Salina area.

Freshman Rep. Tom Arpke received 56 percent of the vote Tuesday against Sen. Pete Brungardt in final, unofficial results from the 24th District. Both candidates are from Salina.

Brungardt narrowly won a primary race against Arpke in 2008.

Arpke, an energy consultant, was elected to the House in 2010. He served as treasurer that year of conservative Republican Kris Kobach's successful campaign for secretary of state.

Brungardt has held his seat since 2001, and he's chairman of the Senate Federal and State Affairs Committee.

Arpke will face Democrat Janice Norlin, a Salina attorney, in the November general election.

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A conservative state senator from southeast Kansas has won his Republican primary race after being placed in the same district with a moderate colleague.

Sen. Jeff King, of Independence, received 58 percent of the vote against Sen. Dwayne Umbarger, of Thayer, in final, unofficial results Tuesday in the 15th Senate District.

They were paired in a primary race when three federal judges redrew political boundaries in June.

King was a key player in debates over pension legislation this year. He served four years in the House before being appointed to the Senate after Derek Schmidt was elected attorney general in 2010.

Umbarger is chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee and has served in the chamber since 1997.

No Democratic candidate is on the November ballot.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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