Party-switching voters benefited O’Donnell

State Sen. Michael O’Donnell, R-Wichita, provided a contrary view to a bill that would make it harder for voters to switch political parties. He said that about 400 Democrats switched their registration to Republican before the 2012 primary election in order to vote for Republican incumbent Sen. Jean Schodorf, who was defeated by O’Donnell. “It didn’t necessarily change the outcome – it was still a 20-point race – but it undermined the Democratic primary so that the weak candidate won by 60 votes,” O’Donnell said. “There’s a very good chance I wouldn’t have gotten elected had the stronger (Democratic) candidate gotten through, so I kind of like the way it is now.”