Kansas GOP Insider (wannabe): Denning scraps his way into retaining sheriff's job

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Denning scraps his way into retaining sheriff's job

Somehow this escaped the notice of virtually everyone, but am I the only person astounded – I mean capital ‘A’ astounded – by the narrow margin of victory for Johnson County Sheriff Frank Denning?

Prior to the Aug. 7 primary election, which determined who will be sheriff in Johnson County for the next four years as there is no Democrat filed for the role, I would’ve thought Denning was an absolute sure thing. I thought Ken Smith was wasting his time taking aim at who I believed to be a popular sheriff with wide name recognition as well as a brother taking on the least popular member of Senate leadership in the state.

Boy, was I wrong.

Yes, Frank Denning will have another four years as sheriff, but his victory whistled past the graveyard. His margin of victory was 1 percent, or about 501 votes.

This essentially guarantees that Denning will have an opponent in the next election. It also means Denning isn’t nearly as popular as everyone assumed. Denning spends too much money, and people are catching on.

Smith’s narrow defeat is even more astounding when one considers that the political establishment treated him like a leper. Should he decide to run again in four years, Smith will have more support from party insiders thanks to his terrific showing last week. Their assistance will add up to more than 501 votes. And that will be the ballgame for Frank Denning.

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