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Mueller narrowly leads; GOP wins county

Democrats’ advance ballot fortune doesn’t hold

▶ View PDF of unofficial returns by precinct

Staff writer

It is assured that there will be a new District 2 county commissioner, but whether it will be David Mueller or Mike Beneke remains to be seen, with Tuesday voting tallies that left barely more space than the eye of a needle.

After preliminary votes were tallied Mueller led by just 45 votes, 623-578.

Mueller said he would need a recount if he won the race, while Beneke jested after polls closed that he would concede, for a price.

“I said I’d do it for $10,” he said.

Beneke made a small comeback in Election Day voting, as he already was trailing 332-275 after early and advance ballots were added up. He fared better than Mueller in early voting, with a 190-147 edge. They were nearly even in Election Day votes, with Beneke tallying a 303-291 lead.

Advance ballots afforded many of the best results for Democratic candidates.

Presidential candidate Joe Biden received received 727 advance votes, which comprised 50.7% of his votes. That was just one vote short of President Donald Trump at the time.

Senatorial candidate Barbara Bollier received 738 advance votes, which was 43 more than Republican Roger Marshall. That made up 48.7% of her total votes.

Kali Barnett, candidate for 1st District Representative, and Jo Schwartz, challenger for Kansas House of Representative’s 70th District, also came close to outgaining their Republican candidates in the evening’s early stages. Barnett trailed Tracey Mann 779-693 after advance tallies, and Schwartz trailed 70th District incumbent John Barker 315-271 after advance ballots were counted. Barnett’s early numbers accounted for 47% of her share, while for Schwartz it was 49.5%.

As later totals rolled in it became evident that the high number of advance ballots didn’t change the outcome for Democratic candidates. Instead, it appeared to shift when the brunt of their support was counted.

When the county’s final count was finished for the night, Biden trailed Trump 4,327-1,433. Bollier similarly trailed Marshall 1,515-4,124, Barnett had fallen behind Mann 4,341-1,475, and Schwartz was down to Barker 1,879-547.

Last modified Nov. 5, 2020

 

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