Jan Kessinger and Dr. Joy Koesten are candidates for the Kansas House of Representatives. Both are first-timers in the political ring, and both are running against their Republican counterparts. They say the House, along with the Senate, has not done their part to fund schools.
“I’d say no work was done if you can’t come up with a better funding idea which you were charged to do two years ago,” said Kessinger, who is running in the 20th District against Rep. Rob Bruchman.
“They waited until the last two weeks of the session to even bring up the bill for school funding, so they waisted a lot of time,” said Koesten, who is running against Rep. Jerry Lunn.
Out of the 125 seats in the Kansas House, 90 are opposed. In the Kansas Senate, each of the 40 seats has a Democrat running, which has not happened in decades.
Rep. Jeff Melcher says his opponents do not understand the school funding issue.
“When the moderates had control of the Senate, they were always making excuses why they couldn’t deliver for Johnson County Schools. Now that the conservatives are running, we deliver the money, and now the Supreme Court is saying, 'Well you can’t have that money,'” said Melcher.
Republican and Overland Park City Councilman John Skubal is running against Melcher.
“I would think that if they had done what needed to be done they wouldn’t be called in special session,” said Skubal.
The primary is Aug. 2, and the general election is in November.
Ali Hoxie can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org