Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Gay neophyte Erich Bishop comes within 4 votes of knocking off Democrat homophobe Jan Pauls in Kansas House primary; recount likely

Democratic incumbent and obnoxious homophobe Jan Pauls, who faced a challenger in yesterday's vote in her Kansas House district for only the second time in 21 years, barely held on to her seat in a 417 to 410. Had four votes gone the other way, Bishop would have won. Provisional ballots have yet to be counted as of this writing and even after that, a recount is likely.
     UPDATE: The Reno County clerk's office says 123 provisional ballots were cast in the county in Tuesday's primary, and 28 were from the 102nd House District where Pauls and Bishop are running. The Reno County Commission plans to meet on Aug. 16 to review the provisional ballots and certify election results.

Said Kayla Regan of the Hutchinson News:
     Reno County Clerk Shari Gagnebin said provisional ballots still needed to be counted, but even with those, the vote total would likely be recounted.
     Gagnebin said because a race this close didn't happen very often, the County Clerk's office would have to read the statutes regarding recounts and would let candidates know about their options on Wednesday.
     ...This was the 28-year-old Bishop's first time participating in a political election. He said his campaign strategy mainly consisted of walking precincts and talking to voters. He also made a point of attending public events like the Emancipation Day and Fourth of July parades.
     "It was all about personal voter contact," Bishop said.
     ...Carol Gisick, who voted for Bishop on Tuesday, said he won her over when he knocked on her mother's door. He also got her mother's vote.
     "He seemed like an honest person and sincere," Gisick said. "And I thought: new blood."
Dakota Bass. (Photo:
Lindsey Bauman,The Hutchinson News)
Pauls isn't out of the woods, because even if declared the primary winner, she'll face Republican Dakota Bass, a former board member of the same LGBT rights advocacy group which supported Erich Bishop's attempt to oust her. Writes John Celock:
     Bass indicated that he is in favor of same-sex marriage and that he "believes strongly" in pro-choice issues. He also said he wanted to turn back Brownback's cuts to education funding and the tax plan the governor signed into law last month, which eliminates most corporate taxes and cuts many personal taxes.
     "The tax plan that [Brownback] came out with, I was not in favor of that," Bass said. "He put the state at risk of billions in debt in a few years."
     Bass did say that while he considers himself "socially liberal," he also considers himself a "fiscal conservative." Bass is a former board member of the Hutchison chapter of the Kansas Equality Coalition, as is Erich Bishop, Pauls' Democratic opponent.
Elsewhere in Kansas, allies of Neanderthal Governor Sam Brownback seem to have pushed moderate GOP state senators out of contention for the general election, helped by heavy funding by Americans for prosperity, the astroturf Koch Brothers facade, and the Kansas Chamber of Commerce. Again, John Celock:
Incomplete returns showed six moderate Republican senators holding onto their seats. But several moderate GOP stalwarts, including Sen. Jean Schodorf (R-Wichita) and Sen. Tim Owens (R-Overland Park), were headed for defeat by large margins. Morris, who has been vocal in his opposition to Americans for Prosperity and the Chamber of Commerce for involvement in the elections, trailed opponent Larry Powell 4,569 to 4,405, with 90 percent of the vote counted, according to returns posted on the Kansas secretary of state website...
     The conservative victory in the Senate primaries caps a bitter Republican feud that has eclipsed most of state government since last year. The war pitted the Morris faction against the Koch-backed Brownback faction, which included the Tea Party-controlled House of Representatives. The moderate-led Senate, which includes an unofficial alliance between the moderate Republicans and Democrats, blocked several conservative initiatives, including a sweeping anti-abortion bill, changes to labor policy, an overhaul of the judicial appointment process, a strip club ban and cuts to education funding. Senate Republican leaders did consent to several conservative-backed measures, including sweeping tax cuts and a voter ID law.

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