When polls closed Tuesday night, incumbent Congressman Roger Marshall was in the clear to move forward to the general election in November. Statewide, he received 80 percent of the vote over Nick Reinecker, Inman. In Barton County, Marshall led with 81 percent.
Marshall was at home in Great Bend Tuesday evening, celebrating his wife’s birthday with many close friends as returns came in. Many in attendance were mothers of babies he had delivered over the years, and some of those babies he delivered are now registered voters who cast their first ballots in this election.
“This has been a special evening, and we are considering this vote our report card from voters, reflecting promises made and promises kept,” Marshall said, adding that he spent no money on this campaign. “It’s been wonderful to spend it with so many close friends who have mentored me and have been a part of our lives here in Great Bend.”
Nick Reinecker, owner of the Inman Harvest Cafe in McPherson county, and a former police officer and former firefighter, identifies himself as a “grassroots constitutionally conservative Republican.”
The Tribune spoke with him Tuesday night as he was attending a gathering of friends and family awaiting election returns. He noted that he entered the race on June 1 because he felt Marshall needed a conservative challenger, and he entered with the expectation of receiving 10,000 votes.
“Our expectations were met and I am throwing my support behind Marshall,” he said. “With the understanding that Marshall will likely serve three terms, I am announcing I will run for U.S. Senate in 2020. I also wish to say thank you and God bless to those who came out to vote.”
This was Reinecker’s first Congressional campaign. While statewide, he received an unofficial 20 percent of the vote, he did slightly better close to home, with Republic County turning in 29 percent, Saline County 27 percent, Marion County 25 percent, Ottawa County and Cloud County 23 percent each, Rice County 22 percent, Clay County and Dickinson County 21 percent each. At press time, Reinecker’s home, McPherson County had not returned results.
At the Great Bend League of Women Voters forum in July, he spoke of his support for descheduling cannabis at the federal level. He also voiced support for fair trade deals, fixing the immigration system, and ensuring veterans and public responders receive full support.
Marshall is running for his second term as Representative of Kansas Big First. He replaced Tim Huelskamp as the Republican nominee in 2016, and was the clear winner in the general election against Independent Alan LaPolice of Clyde.
He was immediately appointed to the House Agriculture Committee, returning Kansas to an important position of influence that was lost when Huelskamp was removed from the Agriculture Committee by Speaker John A. Boehner in 2012. Since then, Marshall has been assigned to the joint conference committee working on the 2018 Farm Bill.
In November, Marshall will again face LaPolice, who is campaigning as a Democrat this election cycle. LaPolice ran against Huelskamp in 2014 for the Republican nomination and narrowly lost. He then switched parties and ran against Marshall in 2016 as an Independent.
La Police grew up on a Washington county dairy farm and is a teacher, a former public school district superintendent, and a Gulf War Veteran.