U.S. House of Representatives hopeful Robert Tillman pulled ahead of opponent Esau Freeman, maintaining a substantial lead over Freeman throughout the night, as about half of precincts reported results.
As election results trickled in, Tillman, 65, had more than 70 percent of the vote. He said his campaign efforts in the 17 counties the district covers helped draw voters. The two are vying for the Democratic nomination in District 4, which represents voters in south-central and southeastern Kansas.
“I’ve had a lot of success with my campaign. I predicted that I would win this campaign. And things are turning out like I predicted,” he said.
Tillman said Tuesday he loaned his campaign $25,000 and paid a committee in his name another $28,000. He received about $480 in donations, he said.
Freeman, 38, said he spent less than $5,000 during the race.
This is Tillman’s second bid for the District 4 seat. In 2010 he lost to former Kansas state Rep. Raj Goyle, who lost to Mike Pompeo in the general election. He has not held political office.
If Tillman wins, he will face Republican incumbent Pompeo and Libertarian candidate Thomas Jefferson, who changed his name to honor the former president, in the Nov. 6 general election.
In the District 2 Democratic primary, Tobias Schlingensiepen had 40 percent of the vote and Robert Eye had 35 percent, with 839 of 895 precincts reporting at 11 p.m.; Scott Barnhart had 25 percent. The winner will face Republican incumbent Lynn Jenkins in the general election. She was unopposed in the primary.
Republican Tim Huelskamp is running unopposed in District 1, as is Republican Kevin Yoder in District 3.