Two election workers lock a ballot box at the close of voting during the 2022 primary election in Wichita.
Election workers Vanessa Souders, left, and Jen D’Souza lock up the ballot drop box at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Linwood Recreation Center in Wichita. The 2022 primary election drew a record number of voters. Photo by Fernando Salazar for The Beacon.

Voters statewide turned out in record numbers for Tuesday’s 2022 primary election to defeat a constitutional amendment that would have stripped the state’s constitution of abortion rights. 

Further up the ballot, voters chose winners for statewide primaries that determine who will appear on the ballot in November.

Kris Kobach wins Republican attorney general primary

Kris Kobach, former Kansas secretary of state and member of former President Trump’s short-lived and fruitless voter fraud commission, won the Republican primary for state attorney general with 42% of the vote. Kobach defeated state Sen. Kellie Warren, who had 38% of the vote, and former federal prosecutor and political newcomer Tony Mattivi, who had 20% of the vote. 

Known nationwide for turning false claims about voter fraud into state and federal policy — some of which would ultimately be overturned at a $1.9 million cost to Kansas taxpayers — Kobach has promised to continue pursuing baseless election fraud accusations as the state’s top prosecutor. 

A federal judge was so unimpressed with Kobach’s repeated disclosure violations — he was the country’s only state-level elections official to take on prosecutorial duties — that she required the Harvard, Oxford and Yale-educated lawyer to undergo remedial legal training before he could renew his license to practice law. 

Kobach is a polarizing figure among Kansas conservatives. His unpopularity will present an electoral challenge when he faces Democrat Chris Mann from Lawrence in the November general election. Kobach lost a statewide race to a Democrat in 2018, when Laura Kelly defeated him to become governor. 

Kobach’s few endorsements from law enforcement during the primary may come into stark contrast against Mann’s policing bona fides in the lead-up to November. Mann was a police officer who became a prosecutor after being sidelined by injuries when he was hit by a drunken driver during a traffic stop in 2002

Mann worked in the Wyandotte County district attorney’s office and later for the Kansas Securities Commission before going into private practice. He did not face an opponent in August. 

Kansas secretary of state Republican primary 

Incumbent Scott Schwab won 55% of the vote in the 2022 primary, defeating challenger Mike Brown of Overland Park, who had 45% of the vote. 

Schwab was first elected in 2018 and oversaw the 2020 elections, the integrity of which came under attack following baseless and unproven claims of election fraud. Schwab has consistently asserted the integrity of Kansas elections. 

Brown, a former Johnson County commissioner who did not win reelection in 2020, has criticized Schwab’s performance as the state’s top elections official. Brown has voiced support of Trump’s false claims of 2020 election fraud. 

There is no evidence of election fraud in Kansas during the 2020 election. 

Schwab will face Overland Park Democrat Jeanna Repass and Paola Libertarian Cullene Lang in November.

Too close to call: Republican state treasurer 2022 primary

The Republican 2022 primary race for state treasurer between State Rep. Steven Johnson of Assaria and State Sen. Caryn Tyson from Parker was too close to call on election night. Preliminary results have Johnson leading Tyson by less than 800 votes out of more than 426,000 cast. Some remaining ballots — like provisional ballots needing to be cured, and mail-in ballots that have until Friday to arrive in county elections offices — still need to be counted. The final results have yet to be certified.

The winner will face Wichita Democrat Lynn Rogers and Overland Park Libertarian Steve Roberts in November. Rogers is a former lieutenant governor, state senator and Wichita school board member who was appointed to the office in 2020 after his predecessor, Jake LaTurner, was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. 

Who else won in the 2022 primary?

Other statewide and high-profile races ended with expected outcomes. Preliminary statewide results are available on the Kansas secretary of state’s website.

U.S. Senate, Democratic primary: Mark R. Holland, former mayor of Kansas City, Kansas, and Wyandotte County commissioner, won a crowded six-way Democratic primary race for U.S. Senate with 38% of the vote. Holland will face Republican U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran and Libertarian David Graham on the November ballot.

U.S. Senate, Republican primary: Jerry Moran, incumbent U.S. senator from Hays, won 81% of the vote, easily defeating challenger and former Wichitan Joan Farr, who ran in simultaneous U.S. Senate primaries in Oklahoma and Kansas this year. 

Kansas governor and lieutenant governor, Democratic primary: Incumbents Laura Kelly and David Toland each won 94% of the vote against challengers Richard Karnowski and Barry Franco. 

Kansas governor and lieutenant governor, Republican primary: Current Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt and running mate Katie Sawyer won 81% of the vote against Arlyn Briggs and Lance Berland. Schmidt and Sawyer will face Kelly and Toland as well as Libertarians Seth Cordell and Evan Laudick-Gains in November.

U.S. House of Representatives 3rd District, Republican primary: Amanda L. Adkins won 77% of the vote against challenger John McCaughrean. Adkins will face incumbent Shawnee Democrat Rep. Sharice Davids and Shawnee Libertarian Steven Hohe in November in the recently reapportioned 3rd Congressional District

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Miranda Moore covers the Kansas Statehouse and state government for The Wichita Beacon. Follow her on Twitter @Miranda_Writes1.