Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Kansas: Progressives advance in Lawrence primary, but they face a tough fight in April

[updated with turnout]

By Diane Silver

All three progressive candidates advanced in the Lawrence city primary tonight. However, the vote totals of two were so low that they will face a tough battle to win seats on the City Commission.

Three seats are up for grabs. The final vote will be on April 3.

The progressive candidates who advanced are:
  • Incumbent Dennis 'Boog' Highberger, who came in 3rd. If this had been the April general election, Highberger would have been the only progressive elected.
  • Incumbent David Schauner, who came in 4th.
  • Carey Maynard-Moody, who came in 6th.
Highberger, Schauner and Maynard-Moody have already said that they back the domestic partner registry. They have also supported measures to keep Lawrence liveable. Red Letter Day has a good discussion of the candidates.

The three candidates backed by the Chamber of Commerce and real estate developers also advanced. Two of them -- Mike Dever and Rob Chestnut -- came in first and second. Dever and Chestnut had also raised the most money and run TV ads in the last few days. The third candidate favored by developers is James Bush, who came in 5th.

Turnout today was low, low, low. In my precinct on the east side, I was only the 30th person to vote by a little before noon. Such low turnout may be good news for progressives, that is, if we can get our folks to the polls in April.

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