Photo: Rep. Jason Probst, D-Hutchinson (Left), and John Whitesel (Right).
By Aaron Strain / Opinion Page Editor
Democratic Rep. Jason Probst won reelection for Kansas’ 102nd House District over Republican challenger John Whitesel.
Thursday, the Reno County Clerk’s office tallied results from hundreds of provisional ballots, and these gave Probst a conclusive win in the otherwise tight race.
The night of the General Election, Nov. 3, the margin between the candidates was three votes: Probst – 3,224, Whitesel – 3,221. This total included all early and same-day in-person votes.
The final result, after the counting of mail-ins and canvassing of provisional ballots, Probst won by 31 votes: Probst – 3,368, Whitesel – 3,337.
Both candidates accepted the results and thanked supporters in Facebook posts Thursday evening.
“It was a hard fought race,” Whitesel wrote. “My hope is now that people are paying attention to his voting record he will be less extreme the next two years.
“To lose by a handful of votes is tough, but I am proud of the race we ran and the way we conducted ourselves. We kept it about the issues and did not make it personal.”
“Never think your vote doesn’t matter,” Probst wrote. “We won by 31 votes.
“I promise to continue to be a fair, honest, and transparent leader to all my constituents in the 102nd District, whether or not you voted for me.”
Dist. 102 covers the southern part of Hutchinson. Rep. Paul Waggoner, R-Hutchinson, holds the 104th seat, which covers the city’s northern portion.
Probst was appointed to the seat in 2017 to fill the late Patsy Terrell’s vacated term. In 2018, he won reelection to a full term unopposed.
Whitesel is a Haven School District Board Member.