States & Candidates

States can change the direction of our country.

Kansas 2020

Goal

Break the supermajority

Chamber Makeup

State Senate

11 Democrats

29 Republicans

State House

41 Democrats

84 Republicans

Opportunity Assessment

The extreme right-wing playbook was perfected in Kansas—and outsourced to state houses across the country. But in 2018, Kansans rebuked this extremist experiment by electing Democratic Governor Laura Kelly. Next stop, breaking the current supermajority in the legislature so it can’t thwart and weaken the new governor.

The Stakes

To find out what’s the matter with Kansas, you don’t have to look too hard: Right wing extremists have gutted vital services that actually help Kansans in favor of corporate welfare, all while taking radical action to ensure they can’t be held accountable at the ballot box. 

  • Implemented draconian cuts to education, infrastructure, and healthcare, while dramatically cutting taxes for corporations.
  • Insulated themselves from the will of voters, including a “proof of citizenship” voter intimidation law that disenfranchised over 30,000 Kansans.
  • Worked to thwart Medicaid expansion, while championing legislation to expand junk healthcare plans that hurt consumers, but are favored by corporate special interests.

2020 Political Landscape

  • In 2020, the entire House and Senate are up for election and Democrats need to win three seats in the Senate and one in the House to break Republican supermajorities that can now override Gov. Kelly’s vetoes.
  • For decades, the most consequential political battles in Kansas were internal fights between the Republican Party’s moderate and conservative wings.  But as the party has gotten more extreme, moderate Republicans are changing parties. In 2018 alone, four Republican state legislators became Democrats, and a fifth became an independent.
  • In 2018:
    • Gov. Kelly won a majority of legislative districts in both chambers in her gubernatorial victory.  The Republican-held districts that she won are clustered in the state’s major population centers and seem to represent a potential majority coalition moving forward.
    • Republicans won eight House seats with less than 52% of the vote.
    • The State Senate was not up for election, which means Republicans in the chamber have not yet faced a post-Trump electorate.

Meet the candidates

  • Angela Justus Schweller
    HD-14

    A small business owner, Angela was raised in Johnson county, where she attended public school from kindergarten through college. She is running to fight for better public schools and quality affordable healthcare for all Kansans.

  • Jo Ella Hoye
    HD-17

    An active community leader, Jo Ella is a gun violence prevention advocate with a track record of successfully moving the needle with bipartisan support. She is running to elevate the voices of Kansans and fight for change in Topeka.

  • Mari-Lynn Poskin
    HD-20

    A higher education professional, Mari-Lynn is fiercely dedicated to ensuring learning opportunities for all Kansans. As the primary caregiver for her husband, who has multiple sclerosis, she understands the need for affordable quality healthcare for all.

  • Joana Scholtz
    HD-40

    A retired teacher and veteran, Joana has devoted her life to service. She is running to fight for the right balance of investment in community, infrastructure, and business to build a brighter tomorrow for Kansans.

  • Jeff Pittman
    SD-5

    The son of a combat veteran, Jeff was raised in the town he now represents. Currently serving in the House of Representatives, Jeff is a voice for bipartisan solutions in the Kansas Legislature.

  • Cindy Holscher
    SD-8

    A 20-year resident of Johnson County and mother of three, Cindy is an advocate for the future of her community. During her time representing Kansans, Cindy has fought for fully-funded public schools and access to affordable quality healthcare.

  • Stacey Knoell
    SD-9

    A former public school educator, Stacey comes from a long line of Kansans who have fought for equal opportunity. She is running to represent all Kansans and not narrow special interests.

  • Joy Koesten
    SD-11

    Joy is a small business owner, facilitator, and educator. She is running to fight for good jobs, stronger public education, and quality, affordable healthcare.

  • Lindsey Constance
    SD-10

    An educator of 16 years and city councilmember, Lindsey is dedicated to creating a brighter future for all Kansans. Lindsey is running to advocate for good jobs, quality public education and affordable healthcare for all Kansans.