Spirits were high as Douglas County Republicans gathered together at the Lawrence Country Club on election night.
Over 15 individuals attended the watch party, along with the University of Kansas’ chapter Young Americans for Liberty, as they eagerly watched the election results roll out live on television.
Prior to Democratic Senator Laura Kelly being called the winner of the governor’s race, Douglas County Republican Party Chair Ron Thacker said the group thought most Republicans in Kansas would vote for Kansas GOP candidate Kris Kobach.
“We were talking about the Republican candidates early,” he said.
One of the attendees of the event was Baldwin City resident Kevin Surbaugh. He said he switched to a Republican from voting as a Democrat when he decided to vote for Pat Roberts when he was 18.
“As a teenager, I worked with teenage Republicans,” Surbaugh said. “When I turned 18, I registered as Democrat.”
YAL members who attended the event said they were anxious at the watch party as they watched the results come in.
Senior Ana McMullen of Overland Park, who is a member of YAL, said abortion was an important topic for her this election.
“The right to live is really threatened," she said at the event.
Ian Ballinger, a junior originally from Topeka, said he wonders how individuals will unite following this election.
“I think just being more civil, and not accusing people of things they aren’t," he said. “Being conservative doesn’t mean you’re sexist or racist. ... All you can do is keep standing up for what we believe in."
YAL members said they hope following the election that the University of Kansas' environment for conservative individuals is more welcoming.
“[The] culture is very one-sided,” said Morgan Schavone, a junior from Los Angeles.