Fitzgerald will oppose Gilstrap
Steve Fitzgerald got the results he was looking after a late-night trip to Leavenworth county offices to confirm the results for the Kansas State Senate District 5 Republican primary Tuesday.
"Yeah, it looks like they came out pretty good," Fitzgerald said Wednesday.
Complete, but unofficial results released after all 52 precincts reported Fitzgerald winning the race with Joel Grodberg 2,137 votes to 1,557 votes. Voters also cast 1,155 votes for Donna McDaniel in the state senate district that covers Bonner Springs and Leavenworth.
"I honestly expected it to be a lot closer," Fitzgerald said Tuesday evening. "Neither one of them was a slouch," he continued, speaking of his opponents. "They are two very good, hardworking candidates."
Despite Tuesday's victory, Fitzgerald said he knows he still has quite a battle on his hands to win the seat from incumbent Democrat State Senator Mark Gilstrap. Fitzgerald said he will have to take his message to unaffiliated and Democrat voters, in addition to Republicans, because of Wyandotte County's tendency to favor Democrats.
"Senator Gilstrap has been elected twice and he has a lot of experience in the Senate and a lot of experience in the Unified Government," Fitzgerald said. "That gives him a position to be extremely knowledgeable about the issues. He is a very formidable candidate and it will be a very tough race, but I think it is doable."
However, Fitzgerald said Tuesday's results show that at least Republicans agree with his message, given that it was largely similar to McDaniel's and the two combined to receive 68 percent of the votes cast.
Fitzgerald and Gilstrap will square off in the Nov. 2 general election to determine who wins the seat.