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Veteran NE Kan. state senator loses GOP primary

The Associated Press

A northeast Kansas businessman has defeated a two-term moderate Republican state senator in the state's primary after receiving the backing of GOP conservatives.

Bob Reader, of Manhattan, won a three-way race for the GOP nomination Tuesday in the 22nd District, unseating Sen. Roger Reitz, a doctor from Manhattan. The other candidate in the race was former Kansas House Majority Leader Joe Knopp, a Manhattan attorney.

Reader had 43 percent of the vote in final, unofficial results. Reitz received 29 percent and Knopp received 28 percent.

Reader is the founder of Flint Harvest, which attempts to turn university inventions into commercial products. Reitz had served in the Senate since 2005.

In the November general election, Reader will face former state Rep. Tom Hawk, a Manhattan Democrat.