Monday, August 13, 2018

Watkins Gets Narrow Win in GOP Congressional Primary

Kevin Surbaugh

Caryn Tyson
Tyson conceds after a night of close
returns, gave Watkins the narrow victory.
Photographer Kevin Surbaugh
Veteran and Iditarod racer, Steve Watkins, of Topeka, pulled out a narrow victory in the Second District Republican Congressional primary. There were seven candidates in the contested race, but election night it boiled down to two, Caryn Tyson, Parker and Watkins. Throughout the evening the race was close, at times Tyson trailed Watkins by less than a thousand votes.  Sometimes as much as four thousand. At the end of the night, when Tyson conceded there were 2,254 votes that separated the two.

When Tyson spoke to her supporters in Otawa, just after 11 p.m., she thanked her supporters for remaining positive. At about the same time Watkins also thanked his supporters and called for unity.  Telling his supporters he wanted to sit down with each of his Republican opponents to work with them in defeating Paul Davis in November.
Steve Watkins, Republican nominee for Kansas' second district in Congress
Watkens thanking his supporters.

"I want to say thank you, thank you for believing in me and right now is a time of unity our republican party and our success depends on coming together now in this critical time," Watkins told his supporters gathered together at the Capital Plazza Hotel in Topeka.

Dennis Pyle and Colonel Steve Fitzgerald were the only other two candidates to win any of the 25 counties in the district that covers most of eastern Kansas, with the exception of the Kansas City area.  Colonel Fitzgerald only won his home county of Leavenworth and Pyle won the five counties on the northern edge of the district. Tyson won ten of the remaining counties, while Watkins won the other nine including the two more poulated counties.
Kansas' 2nd Congressional District
District Map (screenshot) from Secretary of States website.

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