Brown wins second term
In a reversal of two years ago, Anthony Brown rode Johnson County to victory in his race to retain his 38th District Kansas House district.
On a day when Johnson County joined the Democratic wave in the gubernatorial and Kansas attorney general races and in handily re-elected Democrat Dennis Moore to a fifth team to congress, Brown won 59 percent of the vote in Johnson County over his Democratic challenger, Diane Bryant of Lenexa. The race was much closer in Douglas County, where Brown won with 1,718 votes to Bryant's 1,609.
"I had people working against me in Eudora this time -- people who should have a great deal in common with me," the Eudora Republican said.
Bryant said the race in the strongly Republican district was an uphill fight from the start.
"I live in Falcon Ridge where there are a million dollar houses -- not mine but others," she said. "Cedar Ridge is also in the district. There were down days going door to door that I felt pretty rejected.
"I gave it a good run for the money. I wish the 38th District and Anthony the best."
Like many others on election night, Brown spent a good deal of time before the computer tracking races. But even with that tool, he was unable to predict what kind of House he would be returning to.
There were a couple of longtime House members in Sedgwick County in trouble who shared his pro-life, anti-tax views, Brown said. On the other hand, Johnson County replaced two GOP moderates with two pro-life, anti-tax Republicans in its delegation, he said.
One part of the equation in Topeka that won't change is the governor's office. Democratic incumbent Kathleen Sebelius easily turned back the challenge of Emporia Republican Jim Barnett.
"I think Barnett ran for 2010," he said. "He got a great deal of name identification."
Looking ahead to his second term, Brown said he wanted to focus on energy policy.
"There's a couple of things I'm working on," he said. "I would like to see a sales tax exception for hybrid cars.
"I haven't got it all worked out, but I'd like to somehow encourage homeowners to invest in solar panels by offsetting some of their cost."
He would also like to extend the program to industries, Brown said, citing the example of potential roof space the De Soto Huhtamaki Americas plant offered for solar panels.
Brown said he would also likely pass legislation that repealed hunting and fishing licenses for deadbeat dads.