WASHINGTON —With just six weeks until election day, the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee is announcing its slate of Kansas Spotlight candidates. By flipping three Senate seats or one House seat, Democrats can break the GOP supermajority in the legislature and uphold Governor Laura Kelly’s veto power, ensuring that Democrats can stand up to Republicans’ extremist policies and partisan gerrymandering next year.
“Kansans have been denied health care by an extremist Republican supermajority for far too long,” said DLCC President Jessica Post. “I am so proud of this group of candidates who have stepped up to hold the Republicans responsible for their failed leadership. Kansas Republicans blocked Medicaid expansion for 130,000 of their constituents, and in November we will hold them accountable.”
Kansas Democrats are fired up across the state, in part due to Democrat Barbara Bollier’s formidable challenge to Republican Representative Roger Marshall in the U.S. Senate election. With Republicans’ terrible record on Medicaid expansion, these Democratic candidates know the time is now to fight for affordable health care access to all Kansans.
The Kansas Spotlight candidates include nine House candidates and nine Senate candidates.
- Angela Schweller (HD-14), a small business owner and native of Johnson County who is determined to return trust and transparency to public office and fight for better public schools.
- Jo Ella Hoye (HD-17), the Kansas Chapter leader of Moms Demand Action who will fight to reduce deadly gun violence in the state.
- Mari-Lynn Poskin (HD-20), a higher education professional and small business owner who is dedicated to providing high-quality educational opportunities for all students.
- Joana Scholtz (HD-40), a US Army veteran, retired teacher, and dedicated civil rights advocate who knows Kansans care about investments in schools, infrastructure and business.
- Representative Jennifer Day (HD-48), a highly active advocate with Moms Demand Action and the National Organization of Women who will work for fair elections, affordable health care, and a balanced state budget.
- Katie Dixon (HD-49), a financial advisor who is passionate about protecting public school funding and who would be the first openly bisexual member of the legislature.
- Stephanie Byers (HD-86), a longtime public school teacher and National Educator of the Year award recipient who is poised the make history as the first openly transgender person in the Kansas legislature.
- Matt Fox (HD-87), a union middle school teacher who is dedicated to adequately funding public schools and building a future where every Kansas kid can succeed.
- Representative Stephanie Yeager (HD-96), a small business owner who is passionate about securing affordable, high quality health care for her constituents.
- Representative Jeff Pittman (SD-05), a defender for civil and LGBTQ+ rights who is fighting to protect union workers, grow Kansas’s economy, and build a comprehensive, science-based response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Representative Cindy Holscher (SD-08), a state representative who helped form the House Bipartisan Women’s Caucus and is fighting for fully-funded public schools, access to affordable health care, and domestic violence reform.
- Stacey Knoell (SD-09), a public school teacher, church leader, and precinct committeewoman who is determined to be a leader who amplifies Kansans’ voices and protects worker’s rights.
- Lindsey Constance (SD-10), a science teacher, city council member, and climate change activist who will flip the district blue by focusing on climate change and bringing necessary education reform to Kansas.
- Tobias Schlingensiepen (SD-18), a community faith leader as a pastor at a local church and chaplain with the Topeka Police Department who is committed to fighting for affordable health care for all Kansans.
- Rachel Willis (SD-20), a fifth-generation Kansan and non-profit manager who supports fair economic policies, continued investments in education, and comprehensive transportation plans.
- Senator Dinah Sykes (SD-21), a small business owner and community leader who will build on the work from her first term in funding public education, investing in early childhood programs, and repealing tax and spending cuts that have stunted the Kansas economy.
- Representative Jim Ward (SD-28), former minority leader and Governing’s 2017 Public Official of the Year award recipient with almost two decades of experience in the state House who is committed to moving Kansas forward.
- Melissa Gregory (SD-30), a dedicated public servant and community volunteer who will work tirelessly to cover pre-existing conditions and expand Medicaid in the state.
Breaking the GOP supermajority in Kansas is a top target in the DLCC’s $50 million “Flip Everything” campaign. Since Trump’s election, the DLCC and state Democrats have flipped more than 450 seats and 10 legislative chambers from red to blue.