Gilstrap retains Senate seat with convincing victory over Richards
Chester Richards won a small victory Tuesday in his loss to incumbent Mark Gilstrap for the Fifth District State Senate race.
Richards won 100 percent of the vote in Johnson County. The Kansas City Republican received the one vote that was cast in Johnson County, capturing 100 percent of the Fifth District vote in that county.
Despite that victory, Gilstrap won the election in Wyandotte and Leavenworth counties, with more than 63 percent of the vote.
Overall, unofficial tallies show Gilstrap received 16,590 votes to 9,588 votes for Richards.
Even with a wide-margin victory, Gilstrap, a Kansas City Democrat, said his opponent gave him a good race and represented himself well throughout the campaign.
I think he fought a good fight, Gilstrap said.
Gilstrap credited his victory to his hard work in the Senate and the hard work of his wife and those who worked in his campaign.
Since taking office in 1996, Gilstrap said he has worked to make improvements in the Fifth District by his participation in bringing the Kansas Speedway and the crime lab to Wyandotte County and increasing education funding.
Im happy that the voters of the Fifth District seemed fit to reelect me, he said.
During his next term, Gilstrap wants to concentrate on the potential economic growth of the area, especially with the expected tourism the Speedway will bring to the area.
A hot issue in the Legislature next year is renewing the state lottery. Gilstrap hopes to work with other legislatures in bringing slots to the Speedway and the Woodlands racetrack.
He said this could be accomplished by using support for the state lottery as leverage.
The economic development revenue the western counties receive from the lottery could persuade naysayers on slots to vote differently if they thought they might lose lottery revenue, Gilstrap said.
The speedway and slots at the Woodlands, this would be a big tourist section for the Midwest, he said.