McPhersonSentinel - McPherson, KS
  • Moran takes Senate seat

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  • Rep. Jerry Moran sailed to an overwhelming victory in the race for the state’s U.S. Senate seat, defeating Democrat new-comer Lisa Johnston in Tuesday’s general election.
    Moran, who emerged from a long, heated primary battle with Rep. Todd Tiahrt, R-Goddard, ran a quiet and fairly uneventful campaign leading to Tuesday’s election.
    The Associated Press called the race shortly after 8 p.m. Tuesday and declaring Moran the winner.
    Moran and hundreds of supporters followed Tuesday’s results at a watch party in Hays.
    “We worked hard at a strong, state-wide campaign,” Moran said following the announcement of his victory Tuesday. “I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to meet Kansas, connect with them. We’ve done that really for the last two years. During that time, we’ve developed great relationships with Kansas across the state. We will work hard to bring the kind of representation that First District Kansas have experienced with me to the other three congressional districts across the state.”
    The Hays Republican will now fill the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Senator Sam Brownback, who was successful in his own bid for governor.  He continues a decades-long trend of a Republican representing Kansas in the U.S. Senate.  The state has not elected a Democrat to Senate since the 1930s.
    Once back in Washington to complete the final legislative session of 2010, Moran said he is eager to see how the Obama administration reacts to Tuesday’s election results and if Democrat leaders become more willing to work with Republicans.
    As a Senator, Moran said he plans to continue the customer service he extended to constituents as a Congressman and continue to work to ensure “better days are to come.” That will come through more fiscal restraint, a balanced budget and the creation of a business environment where companies, and employees, can succeed.
    The race between Moran and Johnston was, on all accounts, quiet. The two never met for a formal debate and neither spent money on negative campaigning.
    Johnston, a Baker University administrator, ran a low-profile and altogether quiet race. She won the Democrat primary with 31 percent of the vote running of a platform of bringing a “fresh perspective” to Kansas. Taking a leave of absence from her position to campaign, Johnston spent time talking to Democratic supporters but was never able to convert Republican votes, a must for a Democrat to win a state-wide election. Her campaign fundraising also trailed substantially behind Moran.
    Moran, who has always enjoyed strong support among his western Kansas constituents, was able to maintain his popularity among 1stCongressional District voters and earned the support of conservatives across the state. He was also able to take advantage of nation-wide discontent for Democrat policies on health care and the economy. He campaigned against the nation's new health care law and advocated for the extension of the Bush tax cuts.
    Page 2 of 2 - Johnston was not available for comment.