Unofficial results in the 124th District of the House of Representatives Republican primary election on Tuesday night showed Marty Long of Ulysses winning the race easily over Jeffrey Locke of Satanta.

With results from all 43 precincts in, Long, who is a fourth-generation farmer in Grant County and a Ulysses hotel owner serving his fourth term as a Grant County commissioner, had 63 percent of the votes. The unofficial vote tally was 1,679-973.

Long won his home county of Grant 712-245, while Locke had the upper hand in Haskell County —his home county — by a total of 228-219.

Long, who hosted about 20 people at his home to follow election results, said he thinks voters chose him over Locke because they are ready for change in Kansas.

“They want to back the centrist movement. I think they want to see Medicaid expansion in Kansas. I think they want to see their schools funded,” Long said. “I don’t think they want to go too far to the left or too far to the right. They want someone right down the middle, and that’s exactly who I am.”

Since his campaign began in May, Long said his views have stayed the same. He supports Medicaid expansion in Kansas, previously stating it will benefit multiple hospitals in the 124th District, and believes schools need to be properly funded.

“I just stuck to my guns, and I think voters appreciate that,” Long said. “…I’ve been worried about financing everything in the state, but one of my priorities is to keep income taxes down. Nobody likes paying taxes, that includes me. ... I don’t have any pet projects, I just think things in general need to be taken care of in a responsible way.”

An upset Locke, who has been a teacher for the past 30 years and currently teaches art in Satanta USD 507, said there were negative campaign post card ads against him from Save Kansas that claimed he was “the next Brownback.”

“… That suppressed the vote,” Locke said, adding that the Farm Bureau endorsed Long. “Then I went door to door, and I thought I had everything covered to get enough votes, but the people don’t want people to talk to them. They listen to postcards, I guess… I may never run again because I put everything into this race and God guided me. God guided me in many ways…”

Locke congratulated Long on the win.

“It was a close race, I think the results will show that, but God didn’t want me in this position and I will not go against God’s will and I will not go against we the people’s will,” Locke said.

With no Democratic opponent in November's general election, barring a write-in candidate, Long will fill the seat vacated by Rep. Steve Alford of Ulysses, who did not filed for re-election.

 

Contact Josh Harbour at jharbour@gctelegram.com.