When Avery Anderson and his supporters left their election night watch party at Gurty’s on Tuesday night, they were in a very good mood.
Anderson had what appears to be an insurmountable lead in the Kansas House District 72 race.
At the end of election night, Anderson led 5,935 to 4,797 over incumbent Democrat Tim Hodge of North Newton. That represented a 10 percentage-point edge — 55% to 45%.
"It feels fantastic," Anderson said. "It was a lot of work the last few months. I talked to a lot of voters and it has been an absolute privilege to talk to voters around town and meet more of my neighbors."
The election results will not be official until after canvassing by the county commission next week — there remain 392 provisional and 208 hand-count ballots countywide, and mail ballots that were postmarked Tuesday and received by Friday will also be counted.
Those outstanding ballots will likely not be enough to change the race.
"Overall, I am very happy with how both my primary and general campaigns went," Anderson said.
He campaigned on the health and safety of Kansas residents, restoring the economy and balancing the budget.
He also campaigned on reducing the sales tax on food — an issue that he shared with Hodge.
"I think (the Legislature) needs to work together and fix the sales tax on food," Anderson said. "I think it is going to be tough to lower taxes at this moment because where the budget is. When we get over COVID, and get the budget back to where it has been, that is one of the things we have to do — is lower the sales tax on food. It is something that is very important to this district."
Anderson helped solidify a GOP sweep of Harvey County on election night — in the only other local race, Randy Hague, a Republican, led Christy Schunn, a Democrat, 2,759 to 2,627 for county commission seat No. 2 with provisional and already mailed mail ballots remaining to count. That race is not over.
In federal races, President Donald Trump took Harvey County with 9,816 votes. Democrat Joe Biden collected 6,466 votes while Libertarian Jo Jorgensen collected 351. In the race for U.S. Senate, Roger Marshall bested Barbara Bollier 9,228 to 6,671 in Harvey County. In the U.S. House race, incumbent Rep. Ron Estes defeated Laura Lombard 10,504 to 5,974 in Harvey County.
Kansas Sen. Carolyn McGinn, R-Sedgwick, and Rep. Stephen Owens, R-Hesston, were unopposed in their districts.
Don Schroeder, R-Hesston, was unopposed in the race for county commission, third district. Also unopposed GOP candidates included Rick Piepho for county clerk, Emily Nichols for county treasurer, Raquel Langley for register of deeds, Jason Lane for county attorney and Chad Gay for county sheriff.