By Jessica LeDuc
Blade staff writer
Cloud County voters turned out in droves to re-elect Sheriff Brian Marks in the general election Tuesday.
Sixty-four percent of the county's 6,294 registered voters cast ballots Tuesday, giving Marks a more than two-to-one margin over his challenger, former sheriff Larry Bergstrom. Marks ended the night with 2,847 votes to Bergstrom's 1,079. Marks received 73 percent of the votes cast, while Bergstrom came in with 27 percent.
"I'd like to thank the voters of Cloud County for having the faith in me to let me continue doing the job I've been doing the last four years," Marks said.
With the election behind him, Marks said he is ready to move forward with work on the new law enforcement center, which is currently under construction. In April, Cloud County voters supported the use of revenue bonds for the construction of the $5.9 million law enforcement center and 80-bed jail.
"I'm looking forward to doing my best to keep Cloud County moving forward, and keeping our citizens safe," Marks said.
Results in the city of Concordia for the Sheriff's race are: Second Ward, Second Precinct – Marks 289, Bergstrom 84; Second Ward, First Precinct – Marks 212, Bergstrom 72; Third Ward – Marks 401, Bergstrom 120; Fourth Ward – Marks 156, Bergstrom 93; Advance voting – Marks 456, Bergstrom 180.
In the race for the newly created 36th District State Senate seat, Republican Elaine Bowers handily defeated Democrat Marquis Clark. Bowers, who had held the 107th District seat in the House of Representatives, received 3,372 votes in Cloud County, and Clark received 590. In the 13-county district, Bowers had 85-percent of the vote with 25,726 to Clark's 5,331.
The district covers the counties of Cloud, Ottawa, Republic, Washington, Jewell, Mitchell, Lincoln, Russell, Osborne, Smith, Rooks, and parts of both Phillips and Marshall counties. Bowers will go from representing 21,000 people in the House to more than 70,000 people as a senator.
"When the redistricting maps came out, the 36th District was a dream district for a rural legislator like me," Bowers said. "It's a wonderful territory."
Bowers said she is anxious to get started in her new position as Senator. She said one of her goals in the Senate will be banding together with other rural legislators "so we have a stronger voice."
"I appreciate the support I've had over the last six years in the House," she said. "I'm looking forward to serving a larger group of rural Kansans in the Senate."
Running unopposed for Bowers' 107th District seat in the House, Susan Concannon, R-Beloit, received 3,292 in Cloud County. Also running unopposed was Tim Huelskamp for the United States House of Representatives First District. The Republican incumbent received 3,211 votes in Cloud County.
Local voters also cast their ballots for the sixth district seat on the State Board of Education. Deena Horst, R-Salina, received 2,127 to Democrat Carol Viar's 1,502. Horst won the seat with a total of 65,607 votes to Viar's 39,000.
Nationwide, Cloud County followed the Kansas trend in voting for Gov. Mitt Romney. He received 2,886 votes to President Barack Obama's 951.