Kansas Mental
Health Coalition


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  • January 13, 2021 9:25 PM | Amy Campbell (Administrator)

    The Governor’s State of the State speech was delivered remotely on January 12, due to the pandemic and the proposed budget was presented to a joint meeting of the House Appropriations and Senate Ways and Means Committee on the morning of January 13.  The Budget proposes two merge KDADS and DCF into a single Department of Human Services and includes new spending. 

    Department of Human Services Enhancements

    • $2.0mil for CMHC specialized services in Nursing Facilities for Mental Health
    • $5.0mil for statewide mobile response & stabilization
    • Provides community-based interventions and individualized care planning
    • $3.0mil for family crisis response and support
    • Provides any child/youth up to 18 in the community, or any young adult (ages 18 – 21) who is a foster care alum who is experiencing behavioral or psychiatric emergency with rapid, community-based crisis intervention services, regardless of health care insurance status
    • Department of Corrections Lansing facility
    • Substance abuse program implementation

    The Governor cites two key principles for her budget:

    1. Respond to the needs highlighted by the pandemic and protect core services, while keeping Kansas on the path of fiscal responsibility and economic growth

    • The FY22 Governor’s recommended budget will show investments in IT modernization, transportation, public safety, mental health services, education, and economic development tools

    2. Continue building on the work that has been done over the past few years to keep putting tools back into the budget toolbox

    • By remaining steadfast in the commitment to restore stability to the state’s finances over the past couple of years, we have been able to weather the financial uncertainty that the pandemic has brought to date

    Links to the Governors Budget information:   

    Budget Overview    GBR Volume 1      GBR Volume 2   

    A Tough Year

    It is worth noting that the Governor has prepared her budget recommendations based on forecasts for reduced revenues due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.  Every agency was asked to submit their agency budget with 10% reductions – then, the Governor and her team worked to reinstate portions or all of the 10% cuts for various agencies.  Then, limited enhancements were added. 

    So, it is very encouraging that Governor Kelly prioritized behavioral health needs for Kansans.  Now, the legislative process will take her budget proposal and dissect it, adding and removing funding items according to the priorities of legislators.  We are hopeful that the work of the Mental Health Modernization and Reform Committee over the interim will help to keep behavioral health top of mind for legislators in the next few weeks and months. 

  • January 12, 2021 9:04 AM | Amy Campbell (Administrator)

    The 2021 Legislative Session will be very unusual, with efforts to spread out in committee rooms and into the public galleries of the House chamber and limit physical access to members of the public and the press.  Masks are encouraged – seemingly more in the House than the Senate – and temperatures are checked as people enter the building.

    The first calendars indicate a quick start to legislative action, with the Judiciary and Tax committees already scheduled to hear bills addressing government actions relating to COVID-19 and tax legislation left hanging from the 2020 session.  Some are saying that regardless of the safety efforts, leaders are anxious to get several pieces of legislation passed quickly – before illness and quarantines may keep legislators out of the building and getting the right number of votes could become a challenge.  A constitutional amendment regarding abortion is expected along with possible liability protections for nursing homes. 

    Calendars are posted each day at https://kslegislature.org – select the third tab from the right on the blue banner.   Committee meeting audio can be streamed live by selecting Audio/Video from the top edge of the home screen, click on Statehouse Live and Archive from the dropdown list.  There are larger audio/video links for streaming the full House or Senate sessions mid-page on the right margin. 

    Full House and Senate sessions with action are to be limited this session – requiring fewer gatherings of the legislators within the House and Senate chambers.  There is a plan to bring representatives into the chamber in groups when votes are required.  The calendars will indicate when House or Senate deliberations are to occur.  Action on bills by the full House or Senate is indicated in the calendars by a line showing up under a list of bills to be debated under General Orders. 

    Many interim meetings have streamed live on YouTube – subscribe to the Kansas Legislature channel.  So far, it does not appear all the legislative committees will be appearing there, although the House and Senate sessions were available.  However, individuals who sign up to testify in committees will be provided a link to participate with audio and video. 

    The first day has been a little rocky – not all the links have worked well.  This means that those of us who are tracking the activities of the Legislature closely will have extra work to do. 

  • January 11, 2021 4:12 PM | Amy Campbell (Administrator)

    Monday, February 11, Kansas legislators gathered in the State Capitol to begin the work of the 2021 Kansas Legislative Session. Leadership elections were formalized – making history, as Representative Ron Ryckman, R-Olathe, is the first representative to win a third term as Speaker of the House and Dinah Sykes, D-Lenexa, is the first female elected to be the Senate Minority Leader.  There were speeches and welcomes all around.

    The leaders are as follows:


    President - Ty Masterson, R-Andover

    Vice President - Richard Wilborn, R-McPherson

    Majority Leader - Gene Suellentrop, R-Wichita

    Assistant Majority Leader – Larry Alley, R-Winfield

    Majority Whip – Richard Hilderbrand, R-Galena

    Minority Leader - Dinah Sykes, D-Lenexa

    Assistant Minority Leader - Oletha Faust-Goudeau, D-Wichita

    Minority Whip – Pat Pettey, D-Kansas City

    Minority Agenda Chair - Marci Francisco, D-Lawrence

    Minority Caucus Chair – Jeff Pittman, D-Leavenworth


    Speaker – Ron Ryckman, R-Olathe

    Speaker Pro Tem – Blaine Finch, R-Ottawa

    Majority Leader – Dan Hawkins, R-Wichita

    Assistant Majority Leader – Les Mason, R-McPherson

    Majority Whip – Blake Carpenter, R-Derby

    Majority Caucus Chair – Ken Rahjes, R-Agra

    Minority Leader – Tom Sawyer, D-Wichita

    Assistant Minority Leader – Jason Probst, D-Hutchinson

    Minority Whip – Stephanie Clayton, R-Overland Park

    Minority Caucus Chair – Barbara Ballard, D-Lawrence

    Minority Agenda Chair – Brandon Woodard, D-Lenexa

    Minority Policy Chair – Rui Xu, D-Westwood

    For more information about these legislators, check out http://kslegislature.org 

  • January 04, 2021 3:48 PM | Amy Campbell (Administrator)

    The Coalition will continue to meet by teleconference.  Members are urged to update their membership by logging into the website.  

    January 27, February 24, March 24, April 28, May 26, June 23, July 28, August 25, September 22, October 27, November 17, December 15

    Mental Health Advocacy Day - February 17 - Virtual Event

    Board Meetings:  12 noon quarterly the 4th Wednesdays (March 24, June 23, Sept. 22, Dec. 15)

  • February 11, 2019 12:37 PM | Amy Campbell (Administrator)

    Members of the public can listen to public hearings online by going to http://kslegislature.org, select the Audio/Video option at the top right of your screen, select “Statehouse Live and Archive” from the dropdown menu, then scroll through the committees until you find the one you want.  Note there is a box on the home page for Audio/Video Broadcast of the House and Senate chamber, but you will need to find Audio/Video at the top right of the screen instead.

  • February 11, 2019 12:31 PM | Amy Campbell (Administrator)

    The Kansas Legislature begins the process of budget hearings this week, with both the House and Senate subcommittees for Osawatomie and Larned State Hospitals beginning hearings today. 

    Senate Ways and Means Subcommittee on Social Services hearing - Room 548-S – 12 noon

    House Social Services Budget Committee hearing – Room 144-S – 3:30 p.m.

    State Hospitals documents:   KMHC Testimony HSSBC (same as Senate), Osawatomie State Hospital Budget Analysis Report, Larned State Hospital Budget Analysis Report.

  • February 08, 2019 12:23 PM | Amy Campbell (Administrator)

    Supporters of HB 2082 told members of the House Health and Human Services Committee that allowing pharmacists to administer injections could improve access to care for people with serious mental illness and those with other chronic conditions who have been prescribed injections.  According to Kristen Powell, Genoa Healthcare, Family Service and Guidance Center, many people are uncomfortable with self administration of injections.  She suggested HB 2082 would help patients stay on their medications by making it more convenient for them to receive them.  Many of our patients are on public assistance and this would allow greater convenience and avoid the cost of additional visits to physician’s offices or hospitals for administration of their injectable medications.  Jim Backes, Pharm.D., University of Kansas School of Pharmacy, testified that Injection administration is a standard part of training.  He asserted that pharmacists are fully trained and well equipped to administer medications.  The legislation is proposed by the Kansas Pharmacists Association and the National Association of Chain Drug Stores.  Read the notes from the hearing.    Read the notes from the hearing here.

  • February 04, 2019 12:26 PM | Amy Campbell (Administrator)

    The Task Force Report has been reviewed by a number of legislative committees in the opening weeks of the session.  The Task Force was created by the Kansas Legislature in 2017 and 2018.  The 2018 budget proviso directs the Task Force to create a strategic plan that addresses the recommendations of the 2018 Mental Health Task Force Report and also to ascertain the total number of psychiatric beds needed in Kansas to most effectively deliver mental health services and the location where such services would be best provided.  The Report includes the results of a statewide bed study commissioned by the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services that asserts Kansas needs up to 221 additional inpatient beds to serve its population.  The Report recommends adding 36 to 60 inpatient beds to the system in the next 24 months in order to end the moratorium on admissions at Osawatomie State Hospital, along with investments in the current state hospitals to provide quality treatment and stabilize staffing.  Task Force members envisioned beds that could be available regionally and in underserved areas.

    The 2019 Report includes a strategic plan detailing 23 recommendations that build on the 2018 Report – including action steps, timing considerations, implementation timeline, budget estimates, and the agencies and organizations likely to be responsible for implementation.

    Several members of the Task Force are members of the Kansas Mental Health Coalition.  Amy Campbell, KMHC Lobbyist, was asked to help present an overview of the report to several legislative committees, including Senate Ways and Means, Senate Public Health and Welfare, and the House Social Services Budget Committee.   Read the Mental Health Task Force OverviewKansas Health Institute overview of the process  2019 Mental Health Task Force Report

  • August 08, 2018 10:15 AM | Amy Campbell (Administrator)


    Delays in tabulating the votes in Johnson County forced election watchers to wait until 8 a.m. today to get the unofficial results of the Republican primary race for Governor.  Results are still unofficial, with recent mail-in ballots, provisional ballots, and some hand counted ballots not yet included.

    Does your vote count?  Take note of incumbent State Representative Steve Becker of Buhler who appears to have lost his seat by one vote.  

    The posted results show Secretary of State Kris Kobach winning the primary by a very narrow margin of 191 votes out of 311,009 recorded votes.  Although the election has been called, Governor Colyer is not yet conceding the race, releasing a statement this morning saying that with, "the presence of thousands of as yet uncounted provisional ballots and the extraordinary problems with the count, particularly in Johnson County, this election remains too close to call."

    Senator Laura Kelly won the Democrat primary with more than twice the votes of the closest challenger.

    Republican Primary - Governor

    R-Jim Barnett



    R-Jeff Colyer



    R-Kris Kobach



    R-Patrick "PK" Kucera



    R-Tyler Ruzich



    R-Ken Selzer



    R-Joseph Tutera Jr.



    Democrat Primary - Governor

    D-Arden Andersen



    D-Jack Bergeson



    D-Carl Brewer



    D-Laura Kelly



    D-Joshua Svaty



    Watkins wins Republican Primary for 2nd District US House of Representatives.  Steve Watkins, a former Army Ranger and a newcomer to Kansas politics, has defeated three state senators, a state representative, and a former Speaker of the House to be the Republican candidate for the 2nd District Congressional seat retired by Rep. Lynn Jenkins.  Watkins beat Senator Caryn Tyson with a hefty campaign account primarily funded by his father.  Read the KC Star article here.  Watkins will now face former Rep. Paul Davis (D-Lawrence) who ran for Governor in 2014.

    R-Vernon J. Fields



    R-Steve Fitzgerald



    R-Kevin Jones



    R-Doug Mays



    R-Dennis Pyle



    R-Caryn Tyson



    R-Steve Watkins



    The incumbents won the other congressional primary races (Marshall, Yoder, Estes).  KMHC member Nick Reinecker is to be congratulated for getting 17,139 votes in the 1st District Primary without major special interest financial backing!  

    There was a close Democrat primary to select the candidate to challenge Kevin Yoder in the general election, with Sharice Davids emerging as the winner.  Davids is Native American, a mixed martial arts fighter and openly LGBT.  Read article here.  Democrats believe Yoder's seat could be vulnerable in the November election.

    Democrat Primary for 2nd District Congress

    D-Sharice Davids



    D-Mike McCamon



    D-Tom Niermann



    D-Jay Sidie



    D-Brent Welder



    D-Sylvia D. Williams



    Insurance Commissioner:

    R-Vicki Schmidt



    R-Clark Shultz



    Schmidt will run against Nathaniel MacLaughlin (D-Kansas City) in the general election.

    Secretary of State:

    R-Randy Duncan



    R-Keith Esau



    R-Craig McCullah



    R-Scott Schwab



    R-Dennis Taylor



    Schwab will face Brian "BAM" McClendon, a software designer, developer and engineer with connections to Google Earth and Uber, for the general election in November.

    No More Campaigning:  There are 16 statehouse races that had only a primary race – in other words, the winning candidate has no general election opposition filed for the seat.  12 of these are Republican races and 4 are Democrat.

    District 6 – Incumbent Rep. Jene Vickrey (R-Louisburg) defeated challenger Clifford Blackmore (R-Paola).  He won the vote 62% to 38%.  

    District 11 – Incumbent Rep. Jim Kelly (R-Independence) defeated challenger John Lowrance (R-Independence).  He won the vote 76%-24%.

    District 12 – Incumbent Rep Doug Blex (R-Independence) defeated challenger Brad Hall (R-Independence).  He won the vote 69%-31%.

    District 13 – Incumbent Rep. Larry Hibbard (R-Toronto) defeated challenger Londa Tindle (R-Fredonia).  He won the vote 55%-45%.

    District 22 – Incumbent Rep. Nancy Lusk (D-Overland Park) defeated challenger Michael L. Coleman III (D-Overland Park) with 89% of the vote.

    District 46 – Incumbent Rep. Boog Highberger (D-Lawrence) defeated challenger Benjamin Ferlo (D-Lawrence).  He won the vote 88%-12%.  

    District 55 – Incumbent Rep. Annie Kuether (D-Topeka) defeated challenger Joseph Stringer (D-Topeka) 88%-12%..  

    District 64 – Rep. Susan “Suzi” Carlson (R-Clay Center) beat Kathy Martin (R-Clay Center) 53%-47% to win the seat retired by Rep. Susie Swanson.

    District 74 – Stephen Owens (R-Hesston) defeated six term incumbent Rep. Don Schroeder (R-Hesston) 55%-45%.  Owens is considered more conservative with endorsements from the NRA and Kansas Chamber.

    District 75 – Former Rep. Will Carpenter (R-El Dorado) will return to Topeka after winning the primary 60%-40% against one term incumbent Rep. Mary Martha Good.  This was a rematch - Good beat Carpenter in the 2016 election by only 40 votes as a more moderate leaning candidate.

    District 80 – Wellington businessman Bill Rhiley beat one term incumbent Rep. Anita Judd-Jenkins (R-Arkansas City) 58% to 42%.  Rhiley had conservative endorsements.

    District 87 – This seat is retired by Roger Elliot.  Renee Erickson (R-Wichita) beat Jeff Kennedy (R-Wichita) 56%-44%.

    District 89 – Rep. KC Ohaebosim (D-Wichita) held onto his seat against two Democrat challengers from Wichita – LeSean Tarkington and Marty Keenan.  

    District 104 – Rep. Steven Becker (R-Buhler) appears to have lost his seat by one vote to challenger Paul Waggoner (R-Hutchinson) 2,014-2,013.  There will be a recount.

    District 107 – Incumbent Rep. Susan Concannon (R-Beloit) beat challenger Sam Sacco (R-Concordia) 56%-44%.

    District 124 –  Martin “Marty” Long (R-Ulysses) won 64% of the vote over Jeffrey G. Locke (R-Sublette) to fill the seat retired by Rep. Steve Alford.

    The Kansas House of Representatives may see a slight shift to the right.  There are several House races where conservative Republican candidates unseated more moderate Republicans that won in 2016.  In addition to the losses of Reps Schroeder, Good, Judd-Jenkins, and Becker - 

    District 8 – Rep. Patty Markley (R-Overland Park) lost to Chris Croft (R-Overland Park) 58%-42%.  Croft will face Michele Lobitz (D-Olathe) in November.

    District 28 – Rep. Joy Koesten (R-Leawood) lost to Kellie Warren (R-Leawood) 42%-58%, who received conservative endorsements.  Warren will take on Brian Clausen (D-Leawood) in the general election.

    On the other hand - conservative Republican John Whitmer was also unseated:

    District 93 - Republican incumbent John Whitmer (R-Wichita) lost to challenger J.C. Moore (R-Clearwater) by 52 votes (1136-1084).  Moore will run against Clifton Beck (D-Clearwater) in the general election.  Moore is a retired educator with a doctorate in chemistry - he cites four priorities: fiscal responsibility, excellent schools, great roads and expansion of KanCare.

    Other House Primary Results:

    District 5 - Mark Samsel (R-Wellsville) beat Renee Slinkard (R-Parker)  and will run against Lassey Murphy (D-Lane) in November to fill the House seat left behind by Kevin Jones, who ran for 2nd District Congress.

    District 14 – Charlotte Esau (R-Olathe) won the House seat held by her husband Keith Esau as he seeks the Secretary of State’s office.  She beat Aaron Young and Tom Stanion with 46% of the vote and will face Democrat Angela Schweller in the general election.

    District 17 – Rep. Tom Cox (R-Shawnee) won his primary with 75% of the vote against Jim Eschrich.  He will now face Democrat Laura Smith-Everett of Shawnee.

    District 18 - Incumbent Rep. Cindy Neighbor (D-Shawnee) beat challenger Andrew Hurla with 82% of the vote, and now faces Republican primary winner Eric Jenkins, who beat Cathy Gordon.

    District 27 – Rep. Sean Tarwater (R-Stilwell) won his primary with 46% of the vote against Karen Snyder and Rochelle Bird.  Tarwater will face Democrat Nicole Rome of Overland Park in the general election.

    District 29 - Former Rep. James Todd (R-Overland Park) beat Peggy Galvin to set up a rematch against current Rep. Brett Parker (D-Overland Park).

    District 30 – Wendy Bingesser (R-Olathe) beat Colleen Webster by less than 200 votes.  Bingesser is considered more conservative than Webster.  She will face the winner of the Democrat primary for this seat, Brandon Woodard(D-Lenexa) who beat Matthew Calcara.  This seat is left open by Rep. Randy Powell, who did not file for election.

    District 38 - Incumbent Rep. Willie Dove (R-Bonner Springs) won over Noel Hull with 64% of the vote.  He will face Democrat Stuart Sweeney of Linwood in November.

    District 39 – Former Rep. Owen Donohoe (R-Shawnee) won by 203 votes (54%) over Kristy Acree with Rep. Shelee Brim is not running for reelection.  Brim had endorsed Acree.  Donohoe will now face Democrat Michael Bolton. 

    District 40 - Incumbent Debbie Deere (D-Lansing) beat Donald Terrien in the primary and will face Republican David French in the general election.

    District 42 - Incumbent Jim Karleskint won his primary over Lance Neelly with 53% of the vote (less than 200 votes).

    District 45 - Former lobbyist Cynthia Smith (R-Lawrence) won the primary against Ronald Thacker for the seat held for many years by retiring Rep. Tom Sloan.  The Democrat primary was won by Mike Amyx over Steven Davis and Aidan Loveland Koster.

    District  49 – House Speaker Pro Tem Scott Schwab is running for Secretary of State.  Megan Lynn won 89% of the vote over Fsehazion Desalegn.  Lynn has been endorsed by Schwab  Lynn will now face Democrat Darnell Hunt.

    District 59 - Incumbent Rep. Blaine Finch (R-Ottawa) beat former Rep. Shari Weber with 71% of the vote.  He faces Democrat John Hall of Quenemo in the general election.  

    District 86 - Incumbent Rep. Jim Ward (D-Wichita) beat Alexander Vulgamore with 86% of the vote.  He now faces Republican Jim Price of Wichita for the general election.

    District 93 - Republican incumbent John Whitmer (R-Wichita) lost to challenger J.C. Moore (R-Clearwater.  Moore will not run against Clifton Beck (D-Clearwater) in the general election.  

    District 97 - Nick Hoheisel (R-Wichita) beat Michael Waller by 108 votes to fill the seat left by retiring Rep. Les Osterman (R-Wichita).  Hoheisel will face Rebecca Jenek (D-Wichita) in November.

    District 99 - Kristi Kirk (D-Wichita) beat Gerald Winget in order to challenge incumbent Rep. Susan Humphries (R-Wichita) in November.

    District 100 - Incumbent Rep. Daniel Hawkins (R-Wichita) beat challenger James Francis Breitenbach with 76% of the vote.  Hawkins will face Democrat Jennifer Winn in the general election.

    District 113 - Incumbent Rep. Greg Lewis won his primary over Brett Fairchild with 66% of the vote.  The Democrat primary was won by  David Curtis over David Serrault.  

    KMHC encourages you to be active in your local elections.  Now is a great time to call and congratulate the winners.  If you have questions,or notice any errors in our report, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.  It was a late night waiting for results!

  • August 06, 2018 8:21 AM | Amy Campbell (Administrator)


    2018 Primary Election is Tuesday!  This is a VERY IMPORTANT election - with many positions determined by the primary election.  Check out your ballot today at myvoteinfo.voteks.org.  Select the Registration Information tab, then enter your county, first and last name, and birthdate.  It will pull up two ballots, one for the Democrat primary and one for the Republican primary.  They are indicated by a three digit number.  Call Amy at 785-969-1617 if you have any questions.

    The Governor’s Race:  The hotly contended primaries for the Governor’s office have attracted most of the attention and campaign funds for the 2018 Election thus far.  Governor Jeff Colyer has touted the positive fiscal condition of the State government and his conservative principles, while Kobach claims he is the true conservative in the race, with the just announced backing of President Trump.  These two seem to be the poll leaders and a recent commercial from the Colyer campaign urges voters to avoid casting their votes for any of the other candidates in this large field, claiming it would tilt the race to Kobach, who wants to return to the Brownback tax cuts.  Republican primary voters do tend toward the conservative – which leaves an interesting quandary for more moderate Republicans.  Do they vote for Barnett, who vows to support reasonable education funding and Medicaid expansion, or stick with Colyer, who has consistently supported most of Brownback’s policies?  If they reject Colyer, are they assuring a Kobach primary win as the commercial claims?

    The leaders in the Democrat primary are likely Senator Laura Kelly, former Ag Secretary Josh Svaty, and former Wichita mayor Carl Brewer.  The candidates have mostly similar views.  Kelly has strong name recognition as a long time legislator experienced with state budget issues and health care.  Svaty attracts many younger more progressive Democrats and has strong rural ties.  Brewer is well known and liked in south central Kansas, primarily Wichita.

    The winners of these primaries will face off in November in a three way race with an Independent candidate – expected to be Greg Orman.

    The Republican contenders are as follows:

    Current Governor and former Lt. Governor Jeff Colyer, M.D.  (R-Overland Park) with Lt. Governor candidate Tracy Mann

    Current Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R-Lecompton) with Lt. Governor candidate Wink Hartman

    Current Insurance Commissioner Ken Selzer (R-Leawood) with Lt. Governor candidate Jenifer Sanderson

    Former Senator Jim Barnett, M.D. (R-Topeka) with Lt Governor candidate Rosie Hansen (his wife)

    Patrick “PK” Kucera (R-Overland Park) and Lt. Governor candidate Patricia Reitz

    Tyler Ruzich (R-Prairie Village) with Lt. Governor candidate Dominic Scavuzzo

    Joseph Tutera (R- Mission Hills) with Lt. Governor candidate Phillip Clemente

    The Democrat candidates are as follows:

    Senator Laura Kelly (D-Topeka) and Lt. Governor candidate Lynn Rogers (also a current senator)

    Former State Secretary of Agriculture Josh Svaty (D-Ellsworth) and Lt. Governor candidate Katrina Gier Lewison

    Former Wichita mayor Carl Brewer (D-Wichita) and Lt. Governor candidate Chris Morrow

    Jack Bergeson (D-Wichita) and Lt. Governor candidate Alexander Cline

    Arden Anderson (D-Olathe) and Lt. Governor candidate Dale Cowsert

    Congressional Races:   The races for the US House of Representatives have multiple candidates as well, with the District 2 race to fill the seat retired by Rep. Lynn Jenkins attracting the most attention.  Candidates include three current state senators:  Caryn Tyson (R-Parker), Steve Fitzgerald (R-Leavenworth) and Dennis Pyle (R-Hiawatha).  Current state representative Kevin Jones (R-Wellsville) and former House Speaker Doug Mays (R-Topeka) are also in the race.  Controversy has been raised by a relatively unknown candidate Steve Watkins (R-Topeka) who has become very visible with signs all over Topeka and plenty of purchased television commercials.  Watkins appears to be very well funded by his father and his campaign attracted a lot of criticism when it accused Tyson of voting for tax increases.  Tyson is the current Senate Taxation Committee Chair and is well known for her anti-tax position – her campaign has called for a retraction from Watkins.  This field also include Vernon Fields (R-Basehor).  The winner will face former Rep. Paul Davis (D-Lawrence) who ran for Governor in 2014.

    The incumbents are expected to win the other congressional races, although some think Kevin Yoder (District 3) could have a tough general election.  District 1 Roger Marshall (R-Great Bend) faces Nick Reinecker (R-Inman).  District 4 Rep. Ron Estes (R-Wichita) faces Ron M. Estes (R-Wichita).  Rep. Estes had to receive special permission to use his title as the incumbent Representative on the ballot to differentiate himself from the challenger.    

    This Is It:  There are 15 statehouse races that have only a primary race – in other words, the candidate who wins on August 7 will be the winning Representative.  There is no general election opposition filed for the seat.  12 of these are Republican races and 3 are Democrat.

    District 6 – Rep. Jene Vickrey (R-Louisburg) faces challenger Clifford Blackmore (R-Paola).  Vickrey is a former House Majority Leader with very conservative credentials.

    District 11 – Rep. Jim Kelly (R-Independence) faces challenger John Lowrance (R-Independence).

    District 12 – Rep. Doug Blex (R-Independence) faces challenger Brad Hall (R-Independence).

    District 13 – Rep. Larry Hibbard (R-Toronto) faces challenger Londa Tindle (R-Fredonia).

    District 22 – Rep. Nancy Lusk (D-Overland Park) faces challenger Michael L. Coleman III (D-Overland Park).

    District 46 – Rep. Boog Highberger (D-Lawrence) faces challenger Benjamin Ferlo (D-Lawrence).  Highberger is a former Lawrence mayor.

    District 55 – Rep. Annie Kuether (D-Topeka) faces challenger Joseph Stringer (D-Topeka).  Stringer has taken on Kuether a couple of times in years past, but as a Republican.

    District 64 – Rep. Susan “Suzi” Swanson (R-Clay Center) faces challenger Kathy Martin (R-Clay Center).

    District 74 – Rep. Don Schroeder (R-Hesston) faces challenger Stephen Owens (R-Hesston).

    District 75 – Current Rep. Mary Martha Good (R-El Dorado) faces a challenger from former Rep. Will Carpenter (R-El Dorado).  Good beat Carpenter in the 2016 election as a more moderate leaning candidate.

    District 80 – Rep. Anita Judd-Jenkins (R-Arkansas City) faces challenger Bill Rhiley (R-Welllington)

    District 87 – This seat is retired by Roger Elliot.  Renee Erickson (R-Wichita) takes on Jeff Kennedy (R-Wichita).

    District 89 – Rep. KC Ohaebosim (D-Wichita) faces two challengers from Wichita – LeSean Tarkington and Marty Keenan.  Keenan has run for the Legislature several times in the past without success.

    District 104 – Rep. Steven Becker (R-Buhler) faces challenger Paul Waggoner (R-Hutchinson).

    District 107 – Rep. Susan Concannon (R-Beloit) faces challenger Sam Sacco (R-Concordia).

    District 124 – Position was retired by Rep. Steve Alford.  Jeffrey G. Locke (R-Sublette) faces Martin “Marty” Long (R-Ulysses).

    There are several House races with conservative candidates attempting to unseat more moderate Republicans that won in 2016:

    District 8 – Rep. Patty Markley faces Chris Croft

    District 14 – Charlotte Esau is running for the House seat held by her husband Keith Esau as he seeks the Secretary of State’s office.  Aaron Young and Tom Stanion are also seeking the position.  Stanion seems to be the more moderate candidate.

    District 17 – Rep. Tom Cox faces Jim Eschrich

    District 27 – Rep. Sean Tarwater is a one term legislator who replaced House Speaker Merrick when he retired.  His challengers include Karen Snyder, an education proponent, and Rochelle Bird, who calls herself an “authentic conservative”.

    District 28 – Rep. Joy Koesten faces Kellie Warren, who has received conservative endorsements

    District 30 – Rep. Randy Powell is retiring this position.  Colleen Webster, with moderate credentials, is facing Wendy Bingesser, who is endorsed by conservative groups.  There is also a Democrat primary for this seat with Matthew Calcara and Brandon Woodard running.

    District 39 – Rep. Shelee Brim is nott running for reelection.  She endorsed Kristy Acree who must face former conservative representative Owen Donohue.

    District 49 – House Speaker Pro Tem Scott Schwab is running for Secretary of State.  Megan Lynn is running for his seat against Fsehazion Desalegn.  Lynn has been endorsed by Schwab.

    If you have questions about the races on your ballot, do not hesitate to reach out to us.  Contact Amy at 785-969-1617 or campbell525@sbcglobal.net

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