Analysis: Sumner County went overwhelming Republican; but not so much in Wellington itself

first_imgConway226104202138 Caldwell W21288995121 Caldwell W151733390  Pat Roberts-RGreg-Orman-DBrownback-RDavis- DYesNo South Haven1324610667 Mulvane1238511593 PrecinctsU.S. Senator Governor Hospital Sales tax Walton (southeast corner)77306847 Wellington 2732631615672932512 Eden (northwest corner)87338039center_img by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Political junkies know the ins and outs of politics. They know where the votes lie. They know the strong areas of red Republican and where the blue Democrats are.But red and blue areas aren’t just for national and state races. Sometimes a county can offer some clues to its political makeup. And the 2014 General Election has proven that Sumner County can be as diverse as voters in Sedgwick or Johnson County (see precinct by precinct vote totals here: 2014 general results – by precinct copyTuesday was a mix bag for the county. Sumner County turned in a heavy vote cast for Republican U.S. Senator Pat Roberts by a 58 to 36 percent margin over Greg Orman, Independent. It also strongly supported Republican Sam Brownback 52 to 43 percent over Democrat challenger Paul Davis.But when looking at the statewide map, Sumner County rates right in the middle as a Republican stronghold in Kansas. Check out this map here. The county wasn’t like Riley or Douglass Counties where the Democrats achieved their greatest success Tuesday. But Sumner voters didn’t vote in the Republican candidates by more than 70 percent like some counties in western Kansas did.When you break down Tuesday’s Sumner County votes, there seems to be two kinds of voters: Those who live in Wellington and those who live elsewhere. Wellington voters overwhelming passed the one percent sales tax for Sumner Regional Medical Center: 1,408 to 806 which is 63.5 to 36.5 percent. That’s a landslide.Interestingly, Wellington was one of the few towns to pass a sales tax increase across the state of Kansas. Sales Tax initiatives in Wichita, Belle Aire and even a sales tax proposal for the hospital in Arkansas City, went down to defeat.So what gives? Raising taxes is not usually a Republican campaign staple.It appears Wellington voters are their own lot of people.The town and school district have successfully passed bond issues and sales tax referendums for sometime now tracing back to the controversial new high school bond issue in 2000 which won by a slim margin.Since that point, Wellington has passed all but one tax initiative – the ill fated turning Memorial Auditorium into a Wellington Recreation Center which was beat by a drum in 2008 by a 5 to 1 margin. Nothing in the history of Wellington elections was as unpopular as that proposal.In 2014, Wellington passed the safety and school bond issue by a 2 to 1 margin. And for the third time in four years, it passed a sales tax referendum to help fund the hospital.Interestingly, Wellington was even a bit off step with the rest of Sumner County in the two major election races. While Sumner County overwhelmingly went for Roberts, the two Wellington precincts barely voted the three-term senator in by the slimmest of margins. Roberts took in 1,062 vote to 1,022 for Orman. That’s a margin of 51.4 to 48.6 percent.As far as Brownback and Davis is concerned, the Democrat challenger won in Wellington 1,100 to 919. Davis took 54.7 percent of the two Wellington precinct votes.Sumner Newscow picked out specific precincts for the senator and governor races below, to illustrate the difference in voting habits across the county.While the rural townships were clearly in the Republican camp, not so was the case for Wellington. And interestingly, someone down in Caldwell worked hard getting the Davis vote out, because that town broke rank and went for the Democrat challenger as well. Wellington city total1062102291911001408806 Oxford278149247185 Wellington 1330391304428476294 Sumner County Total4217261437733100 Others: Belle Plaine522345480393 Follow us on Twitter.last_img