ELECTION RESULTS: Finch tops challenger in Kansas House fight
By The Herald Staff | 8/5/2014
A hometown lawmaker will continue on to the general election after besting his Republican primary opponent in a contentious race for Kansas House District 59.
Blaine Finch defeated Bob Fluke, chairman of the Franklin County Republican Central Committee, Tuesday night in the GOP primary after a costly campaign by both men that saw a flurry of political mailers and letters to the editor in support of and against the candidates. Finch told supporters Tuesday night the election outcome was telling.
“The voters of the 59th district sent a strong message that their district and its representative is not for sale,” Finch said to a crowd gathered for a watch party at Pizza Time, 208 S. Main St., Ottawa.
Finch, Ottawa, recorded 1,688 votes in the Franklin County GOP primary; Fluke trailed at 917 votes, with 23 of 23 precincts reporting, according to an unofficial vote count by the Franklin County Clerk’s Office. Finch also held a 260-171 vote lead in Osage County, which also is included in Kansas House District 59, according to the Kansas Secretary of State’s Office.
All local totals are unofficial until the votes are canvassed Aug. 15 in the courtroom at the Franklin County Courthouse, 315 S. Main St., Ottawa.
Finch, an Ottawa lawyer, next will face Democrat Scott Barnhart, Ottawa, in the Nov. 4 general election.
The incumbent has served in the Kansas Legislature since being elected to the District 59 position in 2012.
For more on this story — including reactions from the candidates — See Thursday’s Herald.