Incumbent District 79 Rep. Cheryl Helmer widened her lead over challenger Ken White after Cowley County election results were finalized Thursday, while two township races were decided with a coin toss after candidates each received the same number of votes.
Helmer, a Republican, received a total of 4,261 votes in Cowley County, according to the final, official results release by the Cowley County Clerk’s Office. White, a Democrat, received a final total of 2,559 votes in Cowley County.
Unofficial results for Sumner County show 1,907 votes for Helmer and 791 for White, according to the Sumner County Clerk’s Office. Sumner County results will be finalized during their canvass on Monday.
Unofficial numbers for the entire district, which includes northwest Cowley and northeast Sumner counties, show a total of 6,088 votes for Helmer and 3,297 for White, according to the Kansas Secretary of State’s website. The state results will not be official until the state canvass, which will be held at a later date.
The Helmer/White race was the only contested local race at the state level. Most of the county-level races were also uncontested, except for a few township races.
In two of the races, for the Silverdale and Windsor township treasurers, two candidates received an equal number of write-in votes and the winner was decided via coin toss at the canvass. In Silverdale, Ronda Melton and David Wells each received three write-in votes, with Melton winning the coin toss. In Windsor, David Burdette and Marjorie Williams each had for write-in votes. Burdette won the coin toss.
In other township races, Republican Danny Gossett defeated Democrat Mike Morton 329 votes to 100 votes for Maple Township Trustee. Republican J. Mark Bennett defeated Bruce A. Bonewell 401 votes to 80 votes for Ninnescah Township Trustee.
An election audit was held last week, according to Cowley County Clerk Karen Madison on Friday. The audit involves a board of six citizens who didn’t previously work during the election hand-counting ballots from the selected precinct to make sure they match up with machine counted totals, Madison said. Winfield 6A was the chosen precinct, and the hand-counted results matched up with the machine counted ones.
Madison said this year’s voting went well, even with obstacles such as an ongoing pandemic and an ice storm that occurred the week of the election. Madison was pleased at the turnout for the advance voting location in Arkansas City, and praised the clerk’s office staff and election workers.