Stogsdill well ahead of Hughes in House District 21 race; incumbents Rooker, Clayton, Ousley have commanding leads with results still incomplete

Jerry Stogsdill talks with former county commissioner Ed Peterson Tuesday night.
Jerry Stogsdill talks with former county commissioner Ed Peterson Tuesday night.

Democrat Jerry Stogsdill appears well on his way to capturing the Kansas House seat vacated by Barbara Bollier. Stogsdill is leading Republican Dorothy Hughes by a margin of 55 to 45 percent Wednesday morning in House District 21.

Only 11 of the 19 precincts are included in that vote count. In the advance in person vote, Stogsdill had recorded at lead of more than 1,000 votes of the 5,800 votes cast.

“I heard from Democrats and Republican alike that they were scared for our schools,” Stogsdill said Tuesday night after the advance vote was released. People he met while campaigning door-to-door, he said, “seemed to appreciate my experience in education and economic development.”

“Dorothy ran a good campaign. She’s going to be making a contribution in Kansas (in the future),” Stogsdill said. “I look forward to working with Democrats and Republicans. We are not going to have good economic development in Kansas unless we have excellent schools. That was lot on the last legislature.”

Update: With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Stogsdill has 7,193 votes (55 percent) to 5,964 for Hughes (45 percent).

House District 19
Incumbent Republican Stephanie Clayton had taken nearly 60 percent of the vote in her bid to return to the Kansas Legislature. Democrat Elizabeth Meitl had 35 percent of the vote and Libertarian John Taube had 5 percent. Only 6 of the 21 precincts in the district were complete in the morning vote count, but more than 10,000 votes were counted thanks to the advance vote in person. Clayton held a lead of approximately 2,600 votes.

“For me, personally, this was one of the most dignified, clean and good honest campaigns I’ve ever had the priviledge to run in. My opponents are wonderful people and it was a pleasure,” Clayton said Tuesday.

Budget, discontent with the executive branch, and school funding were issues she heard about the most, in that order, she said.

“(I am) very excited about the colleagues I’ll be going to Topeka with,” Clayton said. Four years ago when I was elected, it was just Barbara Bollier, Melissa Rooker, Kay Wolf and I representing northeast Johnson County and our values in the House. Now we have seen an extension of that coming to the rest of Johnson County. I think northeast Johnson County and the things we care about, we have much better chances to get positive results and I’ve never been more excited to get back to work.”

Update: With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Clayton had 8,139 (60 percent)votes to 4,539 (33 percent) for Meitl and 779 for Taube.

House District 24
Democrat Jarrod Ousley had more than 61 percent of the vote over Republican Rob Johnson. Ousley was first elected to the seat two years ago and said Tuesday he now had a track record with voters. He said he was “pretty happy” with the way the campaign had gone this year. Only half of the precincts are complete, but Ousley was leading by more than 1,800 votes with 7,895 counted.

Johnson had run an active campaign against Ousley, but the Democrat enjoyed a number of endorsements in the pro-education community.

Update: With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Ousley has 6,008 votes (60 percent) to 3,938 votes for Johnson (40 percent).

House District 25
Republican incumbent Melissa Rooker had nearly 60 percent of the vote over Democrat Matt McCann with 30 of the 35 precincts complete and a large advance vote counted. Rooker’s lead was nearly 2,500 votes with more than 12,000 counted. That count should safely return Rooker to her House seat. McCann’s campaign was not visible to many of the residents in District 25 as the election neared.

“I really found a great deal of support in the district for the work I’ve been doing,” Rooker said Tuesday night.

“I think we have the opportunity to get leadership in place that will reflect far greater respect for the proper process. And by putting the process back in order, I think we can get to better outcomes by finding consensus. The process involves public comment and open meetings and robust debate on the floor. Being able to shape legislation in that manner ultimately leads to a healthier outcome.”

Update: With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Rooker had 7,731 votes (59 percent) to 5,318 for McCann (41 percent).

Melissa Rooker, center in glasses, checked early results Tuesday with supporters.
Melissa Rooker, center in glasses, checked early results Tuesday with supporters.