Galena, Kansas, native Jake LaTurner managed to keep his state's 2nd Congressional District seat in Republican Party control Tuesday, while GOP incumbents Markwayne Mullin and Billy Long won reelection as expected in Oklahoma and Missouri, respectively.
LaTurner, 32, gave up his post as state treasurer in Kansas to run for scandal-beleaguered U.S. Rep. Steve Watkins' seat, beating Watkins in the August primary, and he appeared to have easily defeated Topeka's Democratic mayor, Michelle De La Isla, in Tuesday's election. With 896 of 950 precincts reporting in by 11:05 p.m., LaTurner had outpolled De La Isla 174,334 to 128,194 districtwide, with Libertarian candidate Robert Garrard drawing 13,087 votes.
LaTurner defeated De La Isla by 6,484 to 1,996 votes in Cherokee County and was leading in Crawford County by 9,267 votes to 5,679. In the district as a whole, LaTurner was likely to win 23 of 25 counties, with De La Isla winning only in Shawnee and Douglas counties.
Mullin, 43, of Westville, Oklahoma, won a fifth term as the 2nd District representative in Oklahoma, garnering the approval of 75% of those casting ballots. Democratic challenger Danyell Lanier tallied just 63,403 votes to Mullin's 216,234, with Libertarian candidate Richie Castaldo attracting the support of 8,530 district voters.
In Ottawa County, Mullin prevailed by a count of 8,134 to Lanier's 2,745 and Castaldo's 431.
The 64-year-old Long's Democratic opponent, Teresa Montseny, withdrew from Missouri's 7th Congressional District race for health reasons shortly after winning her party's primary. Her name remained on the ballot, but her withdrawal effectively left Libertarian Party candidate Kevin Craig as Long's lone opponent able to assume office if he pulled off the upset.
With 302 of the district's 303 precincts reporting, Craig had drawn just 15,401 votes and Montseny 96,501 to Long's 251,757.
Jasper County voters favored Long by 36,883 votes to 12,416 for Montseny and 1,988 for Craig.
In Newton County, the congressman outpolled Montseny 21,598 to 5,383, with Craig getting 889 votes.