Archive for Thursday, November 7, 2002

Boyer defeats Abel in 38th race

November 7, 2002

Eudora candidate Carlie Abel's local focus and door-to-door efforts may have paid off in Douglas County, but Johnson County votes cinched the race for Olathean Rob Boyer, who won a seat in the Kansas House of Representatives for the newly-formed 38th District.

Although Abel, a Democrat, won 64 percent of the votes in Douglas County 2,083 versus Boyer's 1,152 the Republican candidate pulled in 55 percent of the total vote, less than a thousand more votes than Abel.

"It wasn't a surprise at all," Boyer said. "I thought the Democrats would turn out in big numbers to support Dennis Moore and Kathleen Sebelius."

While Boyer celebrated in a hotel suite friends, family and supporters until 4 a.m., Abel was busy watching the Eudora-Baldwin game election night. He said he paused during halftime, when Johnson County results came in, to check out how he was doing .

"I thought, 'If it's like this, it's going to be tough,'" he said.

Although Abel guessed he took De Soto, too, his efforts including 450 yard signs, 9,000 pieces of literature distributed and two and three visits to the towns helped him secure the Douglas County vote.

There was no incumbent in the race because redistricting. The 38th District had been in Wyandotte County. Now, the District more or less follows Kansas Highway 10 from north and east Lawrence to the Kansas City metropolitan area. Abel said the District's newness made a difference.

"A lot of people, even in Lenexa and Shawnee, didn't know what district they were in," he said.

On the other hand, Boyer said he thought the gubernatorial and U.S. Senate and U.S. House races had more of an impact on the election.

"I don't think people turn out to vote for a State House of Representatives race," he said.

Boyer said he wasn't sure how much of an impact the De Soto School District's bond issue had on the election, but he thought it maybe got people in Shawnee out to vote, but not as much of an impact as did the quarter-cent sales tax.

The day after the election, Abel said his first task was picking up all those yard signs while Boyer said he had to work on cleaning up last night's party. From here on out, however, the two candidate's plans will diverge.

Boyer begins meetings this week in preparation for the Legislature's upcoming session.

"Unfortunately there's not time for rest," he said.

Abel said he most looked forward to getting back to work and finishing out two years on the Eudora Board of Education.

"It's like a cloud has been lifted," he said.

Looking back, Abel said he thought he'd accomplished his goals for the campaign, including giving voters a Democratic choice.

"He didn't run unopposed, and it wasn't up for grabs," he said.

In retrospect, Boyer said he enjoyed running against Abel.

"I could see Carlie and I being friends and having a cold one one of these days," Boyer said, chuckling.

Abel, who said he was getting ready to give Boyer a congratulations call, noted he was pleased with Tuesday night's other battle, anyway.

"At least Eudora won," he said with a laugh.

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