In rematch, Fitzgerald unseats Kultala in Kansas District 5
By NICK SLOAN, NJSloan212@gmail.com
Just as it happened four years ago, Republican candidate Steve Fitzgerald jumped out to a large lead in the Kansas Senate District 5 race.
This time, however, Democratic Sen. Kelly Kultala could not complete the comeback.
Fitzgerald prevailed in the race, unseating the incumbent and helping offset a Republican loss in the Kansas Senate District 6 race.
He earned 12,609 votes, while Kultala finished with 11,786 total votes. Percentage wise, Fitzgerald won by about a 52-48 margin.
Fitzgerald opened up a large lead early in the night based from his home county of Leavenworth, Kan. He also briefly held the lead among Wyandotte County voters, with Kultala eventually surpassing his total in Wyandotte.
Kultala won the Wyandotte County portion of the vote by a 54-46 margin percentage wise and a 5,636-4,794 raw vote. Four years ago, the Wyandotte County precincts helped Kultala overcome an initial disadvantage.
In terms of party balance among the three Wyandotte County Senate seats, it remains the same as it did entering the election: two Democrats and one Republican.
Kultala was the second incumbent to be defeated; Democrat Pat Pettey cruised to a victory over Republican Chris Steineger.