Moderates Stand to Gain an Even Stronger Majority of School Board

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ A conservative State Board of Education member is in a tight race tonight that could determine whether moderates will have an even stronger majority.

In the Seventh District, Republican Ken Willard of Hutchinson has a 51 percent to 49 percent lead over Democrat Jack Wempe of Lyons with 90 percent of precincts reporting.

Moderates gained a 6-to-4 majority after the primary election, but that could jump to 7-to-3 if Willard loses.

It is already certain that moderates will control the State Board of Education next year, ending the reign of conservatives who pushed anti-evolution standards back into Kansas schools.

Incumbent conservative Republican John Bacon of Olathe won re-election in the Third District over Democrat Don Weiss.

Republican moderate Sally Cauble of Liberal faced Democrat Tim Cruz, a former Garden City mayor. Cauble defeated conservative incumbent Connie Morris of St. Francis in the August primary.

Republican moderate Jana Shaver, of Independence, faced Democrat Charles Kent Runyan of Pittsburg, vying for the seat of retiring conservative member Iris Van Meter.

Democratic board member Janet Waugh of Kansas City was unopposed.