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Johnson County GOP declares a “Great night for Kansas”

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Several hundred people attended the Johnson County Republican Party’s free watch party at the Overland Park Marriott Tuesday night to watch election results.

Through out the evening legislators from House District races, Kansas Insurance Commissioner Ken Selzer and U.S. Congressman Kevin Yoder gave victory speeches, while watching the results come in for the rest of the state and country.

“I think this has been a very good night for the state of Kansas and the future of America,” said Yoder, who has been re-elected in the 3rd District that covers the Kansas side of the Kansas City metropolitan area.

“It’s time to roll up our sleeves, it’s time to go to work, remember who we work for,” Yoder said. “The prairie spirit runs deep in all of our veins and that prairie spirit tells us that there is no substitute for hard work, ingenuity, American opportunity.”

Yoder won his third, two-year term in Tuesday’s election by defeating Democrat and former state Sen. Kelly Kultala of Kansas City.

Democrats initially had high hopes for Kultala against Yoder even though she lost her state Senate seat in 2012 after redistricting.

But Yoder entered the final weeks of the campaign with more than $1.6 million in cash on hand, after raising $2 million in contributions since the start of 2013.

Yoder is a former Kansas House member who served as the chairman of its Appropriations Committee.

Selzer, a Republican accountant and industry executive, won the Kansas insurance commissioner’s race without the backing of the retiring, three-term GOP incumbent.

“We look forward to doing good things for the people of Kansas and bringing technical expertise to this job.”” said Selzer during his victory speech.

Ken Selzer of Leawood defeated Democrat Dennis Anderson of Overland Park in Tuesday’s election. Anderson operates a family business providing educational services to insurance and financial services firms.

The Democrat was endorsed by retiring GOP Commissioner Sandy Praeger. But Praeger had broken with fellow Republicans by not harshly criticizing the federal health care overhaul championed by Democratic President Barack Obama.

Both Anderson and Praeger favor expanding the state’s Medicaid program for the poor and disabled in line with the federal law. Selzer opposes the idea.

The state’s GOP leanings helped Selzer, and he raised nearly $147,000 in cash contributions after last July, compared with Anderson’s $95,000.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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