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Friday, February 5, 2010

My Take on the 2010 KS Races

Here's a rundown of how I think the KS races will go:

Governor: Incumbent Democratic Governor Mark Parkinson is retiring. The Democrats have unified behind Disabled Paramedic Herb West III. The GOP has unified behind US Senator Sam Brownback. I expect Brownback to roll West 72-28. GOP GAIN.

Secretary of State: Incumbent GOP Secretary of State Ron Thornburgh is retiring. On the GOP side, former Business Lobbyist JR Claceys and former State GOP Chairman Kris Kobach are in the running. On the Democratic side, former State Securities Commissioner Chris Biggs and State Senator Chris Steineger are in the running. I expect Kobach to prevail over Claeys 58-42. I also expect Biggs to defeat Steineger 56-44. I expect Kobach to prevail over Biggs 55-45. GOP HOLD.

Attorney General: Incumbent Democratic Attorney General Stephen N. Six is running for re-election. The Democrats have unified behind Six. On the GOP side, former Assistant Attorney General Ralph DeZago and State Senate Majority Leader Derek Schmidt are in the running. I expect Schmidt to defeat DeZago 54-46 and upend Six 53-47. GOP GAIN.

State Treasurer: Incumbent Democratic State Treasurer Dennis McKinney is running for re-election. The Democrats have unified behind McKinney. The GOP has no announced or potential candidates. DEM HOLD.

State Insurance Commissioner: Incumbent GOP State Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger is running for re-election. On the GOP side, Praeger and Insurance Agent David Powell are in the running. The Democrats have no announced or potential candidates. Praeger will defeat Powell 68-32. GOP HOLD.

US Senate: Incumbent GOP US Senator Sam Brownback is running for Governor. On the GOP side, Congressmen Jerry Moran and Todd Tiahrt are in the running. On the Democratic side, Retired Communications Executive Charles Schollenberger and Attorney Stanley Wiles are in the running. I expect Moran to defeat Tiahrt 53-47 and Schollenberger to defeat Wiles 59-41. I expect Moran to crush Schollenberger 65-35. GOP HOLD.

KS-01: Incumbent GOP Congressman Jerry Moran is running for US Senate. On the GOP side, State Senators Jim Barnett and Tim Huelskamp, College Instructor Sue Boldra, Attorney Marck Cobb, Commercial Realtor Tracey Mann, former Salina Mayor Monte Shadwick, and former Chief of Staff to US Senator Sam Brownback Rob Wasinger are in the running. The Democrats have unified behind former Salina Mayor Alan Jilka. I expect Huelskamp to emerge from his Primary and defeat Jilka 62-38. GOP HOLD.

KS-02: Incumbent GOP Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins is running for re-election. On the GOP side, Jenkins and State Senator Dennis Pyle are in the running. On the Democratic side, there are no announced candidates, but State Senator Tom Holland is considering the race. I expect Jenkins to defeat Pyle 54-46 and either run unopposed or defeat Holland if he runs. GOP HOLD.

KS-03: Incumbent Democratic Congressman Dennis Moore is retiring. The Democrats have no announced candidates, but potential candidates include State House Minority Leader Paul Davis, Governor Mark Parkinson, Kansas City Mayor Joe Reardon, and State Senator and current Secretary of State candidate Chris Steineger. On the GOP side, former State Senators Mark Gilstrap and Nick Jordan, Iraq War Veteran Daniel Gilyeat, former State Representative Patricia Lightner, Businessman John Rysavy, Database Consultant Thomas Scherer, and State Representative Kevin Yoder. The GOP frontrunners are Jordan and Yoder. Whichever one makes it out of the Primary has the edge. GOP GAIN.

KS-04: Incumbent GOP Congressman Todd Tiahrt is running for US Senate. On the GOP side, Printing Company Owner Jim Anderson, Oil Company CEO Wink Hartman, State Senator Dick Kelsey, Manufacturing Executive Mike Pompeo, and State Senator Jean Schodorf are in the running. On the Democratic side, State Representative Raj Goyle and Retiree Robert Tillman are in the running. The Independents have unified behind Nurse Susan Ducey. I expect Kelsey and Goyle to emerge from their Primaries. Kelsey will defeat Goyle 56-44. GOP HOLD.


  1. The Democrats have not unified behind West. Seriously. lol. Holland will be in soon.

  2. Well, no one else to my knowledge has announced for the Democratic nomination for the Governorship as of yet.

  3. Your expertise is obviously not Kansas politics.

    Governor - To say Dems have unified behind West is a huge overstatement. The state party refuses to even recognize his candidacy. Tom Holland, who you mention as exploring the 2nd District race is actually considering a run for governor.

    SOS - You missed the fact that Libby Ensley, the current Shawnee County Election Commissioner has filed and been endorsed by Thornburgh.

    AG - This one you have mostly right, except Schmidt will beat De Zago by a large margin in the primary. He is widely respected and has been endorsed by conservative and moderate leaders in the state.

    Treasurer - You missed the fact that Ron Estes, the Sedgwick County treasurer filed for the Republican nomination. He will benefit from high Republican turnout with Brownback and Moran/Tiahrt at the top of the ticket and could roll McKinney even without much campaigning.

    Ins. Commissioner/Senate/KS-01 - Your analyses are fairly accurate on these races, though the KS-01 Republican primary will be a bloodbath. Barnett, Huelskamp and Wasinger are widely looked at as the top three contenders.

    KS-02 - Again, Holland has apparently dropped his interest in this race and is instead pursuing the governor's race.

    KS-03 - Neither Steineger nor Davis has any interest. Steineger seems committed to the SOS race, and Davis would have to give up his safe state house position to run. Reardon is the most likely Dem candidate. On the R side, Yoder raised a LOT of money last quarter. Lightner has the support of the tea-party crowd. Jordan has name recognition from his previous campaign. Those three will fight it out and it will be bloody.

    KS-04 - Not sure where you get the idea that Kelsey will win the primary. He has no money, and no strong network of supporters on the ground. Pompeo is the state's Republican national committeeman, and is already running a strong campaign. Hartman and Schodorf each a lot of personal money they're willing to spend. And to say that Independents are "unified" behind a candidate is crazy.

  4. Scratch Reardon from the 3rd. He just issued a statement that he will not run. That gives the Dems no hope of holding this seat. He was the only prominent candidate on the bench.

  5. Which site do you get your info from? I use Politics1, but I get the feeling they left a lot of candidates out.

  6. Your prediction of the US Senate race is dead on.

    Well done.

  7. Topeka Capital-Journal covers races pretty well.

    KC Star's Prime Buzz blog as well.

  8. Your prediction for Senate is way off. Todd will win by at least 5 points. Jerry is not being honest with Kansans and they are starting to figure that out. Todd is the fighter, Jerry just sits back and does nothing. A good portion of money Jerry is receiving is from out of state. Not voters. Voters are for Todd. New Senator will be Todd;