Voters cast 431,000 Republican ballots in contest with gap of less than 500
TOPEKA — State Sen. Caryn Tyson conceded the Republican Party’s nomination for state treasurer amid a recount she sought in six counties that barely nudged the needle in an extremely close primary.
Tyson, a GOP senator from Parker in eastern Kansas, sent a message Thursday to supporters of her campaign who provided donations, walked door-to-door, put up yard signs and prayed on her behalf. She lost by less than 500 votes out of 431,000 cast statewide.
“While our campaign is over,” she said, “I will continue to work to protect our freedoms and to make Kansas a shining state in the nation. Over the course of the campaign, I have been blessed to meet and get to know so many amazing Kansans.”
Unofficial returns from the Aug. 2 primary and additional ballots processed by counties during the canvassing showed state Rep. Steven Johnson, of Assaria in central Kansas, with a lead of 475 votes.
Tyson sought a recount in Barton, Cloud, Dickinson, Harvey, McPherson and Ottawa counties. The secretary of state’s office said an accounting from four of those counties shaved five votes from Johnson’s lead. The recount in McPherson and Cloud counties remained unofficial, but Johnson’s campaign said results in those two counties wouldn’t flip outcome of the primary.
Johnson has turned his attention to the November contest against Treasurer Lynn Rogers, a Democrat appointed to the position by Gov. Laura Kelly following resignation of Republican Jake LaTurner, who now serves in the U.S. House.
“We didn’t lose any ground while we waited for all the legally cast ballots to be counted,” Johnson said. “Our team hit the ground running knowing this process could take weeks to complete.”
Johnson raised about $100,000 in days following the primary election, and his campaign manager urged Republicans to unify behind GOP nominee.
“I want to thank my opponent for her willingness to run and for her continued service to this great state,” Johnson said. “I also want to thank my many volunteers and supporters who have been critical in winning a close race where every voter contact mattered. With our base of support we are well-positioned to win the general election.”
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