Archive for Thursday, November 4, 2004

Wilk, unopposed, gets seventh term

November 4, 2004

Election Day wasn't a nerve-wracking grind for Kansas House Rep. Kenny Wilk, R-Lansing.

For the second straight election, Wilk, whose 42nd District includes Lansing and parts of southern Leavenworth County, ran unopposed in the general election. Wilk won a seventh consecutive term in the House by collecting 9,111 votes, according to the final but unofficial results from the Leavenworth County Clerk's Office.

"It certainly makes for a much more pleasant, less stressful Election Day," Wilk said.

On Tuesday, the veteran of 12 legislative sessions addressed his past tenure in the House, challenges for the future and speculated why voters in his home district continually nod his way each August and November.

"I've tried not to take the voters nor the job for granted," Wilk said. "I've tried to put a lot of time and energy into constituent service."

Working with legislators during the session and reviewing proposed new laws is important, Wilk said, but taking a telephone call from a constituent with a problem and being able to help that person is "really quite important."

"I just try to be real honest with folks and considerate of other points of view. I like to think that I've weighed in on their behalf," he said.

Wilk said he's always maintained a philosophy of "raising the budget and decreasing taxes." In his years as appropriations chairman, Wilk said he and his committee attempted as best they could to "make limited resources work" with the same viewpoint.

In the 5th District Senate race, Sen. Mark Gilstrap, D-Kansas City, Kan., squeaked out a narrow victory over Republican challenger Steve Fitzgerald.

Gilstrap carried the Wyandotte County portion of the district easily, defeating Fitzgerald 7,277 votes to 3,901, but both had to wait for Leavenworth County results until after 1 a.m. Wednesday to learn who won the position.

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