Howe’s effort topples Kline
By DIANE CARROLL
The Kansas City Star
A political newcomer knocked Phill Kline out of the race for Johnson County district attorney Tuesday, defeating the hopes of abortion opponents who had campaigned nationwide.
With all of the vote counted, Steve Howe, a former Johnson County prosecutor, trounced Kline with 33,260 votes to Kline’s 22,188, a margin of 60 percent to 40 percent, according to final unofficial returns.
Howe will face Democrat Rick Guinn in the Nov. 4 general election.
Howe said he ran a campaign based on facts and one that made distinctions between the candidates based on their records. His big win showed that the people of Johnson County don’t like “dirty politics,” he told his supporters. “And they want a positive campaign.”
Abortion played a key role in the race because Kline is the first prosecutor since Roe v. Wade to file criminal charges against a Planned Parenthood clinic. The case is pending.
Independent groups from outside Kansas are thought to have spent more than $100,000 to keep Kline’s candidacy alive.