TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -- Conservative Republicans who pushed anti-evolution standards back into Kansas schools last year have lost control of the state Board of Education once again.
up to 1998 Pro-Evolution
The most closely watched race was in western Kansas, where incumbent conservative Connie Morris lost her GOP primary Tuesday. The former teacher had described evolution as ''an age-old fairy tale'' and ''a nice bedtime story'' unsupported by science.
As a result of Tuesday's vote, board members and candidates who believe evolution is well-supported by evidence will have a 6-4 majority. Evolution skeptics had entered the election with a 6-4 majority.
Critics of Kansas' science standards worried that if conservatives retained the board's majority, it would lead to attempts in other states to copy the Kansas standards.
''There are people around the country who would like to see the Kansas standards in their own states,'' said Eugenie Scott, director of the National Center for Science Education in Oakland, Calif., which supports the teaching of evolution.
Also Tuesday, Kansas Republicans chose a nominee to challenge Democratic Gov. Kathleen Sebelius in November. With all precincts reporting early Wednesday, state Sen. Jim Barnett captured his party's nomination with 36 percent of the vote, besting six other candidates.
Control of the school board has slipped into, out of and back into conservative Republicans' hands since 1998, resulting in anti-evolution standards in 1999, evolution-friendly ones in 2001 and anti-evolution ones again last year.
Late-night comedians have been making cracks about Kansas, portraying it as backward and ignorant. Comedy Central's ''The Daily Show'' broadcast a four-part series titled, ''Evolution Schmevolution.''