The Kansas state capitol in Topeka.
Photographer: Kevin Mitchell KSHB-TV
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Five moderate Republican incumbents in the Kansas Senate were defeated in the state's primaries on Tuesday.
The incumbents included Senate President Steve Morris, of Hugoton.
Rep. Larry Powell had almost 52 percent of the vote against Morris in final, unofficial results from Tuesday's election in the 39th Senate District in southwestern Kansas.
Powell's lead came amid conservative victories in other races that moved them closer to controlling the Senate.
Powell, from Garden City, is chairman of the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee and has served in the House since 2001.
Morris is a moderate Hugoton Republican who has served 20 years in the Senate. Campaign finance records show Morris outspent Powell by an 8-to-1 margin, putting $183,000 into his re-election effort.
But Powell and other conservatives had the backing of the powerful Kansas Chamber of Commerce.
Conservatives were seeking to reshape the state Legislature by sweeping out moderate GOP senators who've been able to check the political right's agenda. A dozen moderate incumbents faced more conservative challengers.
Besides Morris, the others who lost their seats were Sens. Bob Marshall of Fort Scott; Tim Owens of Overland Park; Roger Reitz of Manhattan; and Jean Schodorf of Wichita.
Jacob LaTurner, of Pittsburg, received 57 percent of the vote against Marshall in final, unofficial results in the 13th District on Tuesday. Marshall, who was seeking his second term, sided with moderate GOP Senate leaders this year on budget and tax issues.
Rep. Jim Denning has unseated fellow Overland Park resident Owens, who was a key figure in a bitter legislative stalemate over political redistricting in the state's Republican primary. Denning had 60 percent of the vote against Owens in the 8th Senate District in suburban Kansas City.
Bob Reader, of Manhattan, won a three-way race for the GOP nomination Tuesday in the 22nd District, unseating Reitz, a doctor from Manhattan. The other candidate in the race was former Kansas House Majority Leader Joe Knopp, a Manhattan attorney.
Reader had 43 percent of the vote in final, unofficial results. Reitz received 29 percent and Knopp received 28 percent.
Michael O'Donnell defeated Schodorf, a veteran moderate Republican, receiving 59 percent of the vote Tuesday in the 25th District.
Schodorf has held the seat since 2001 and served 12 years on the Wichita school board. But O'Donnell had the backing of the Kansas Chamber of Commerce and benefited from independent advertising by the anti-tax, small-government group Americans for Prosperity.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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