Yesterday the Kansas Chamber Political Action Committee, an arm of the Kansas Chamber of Commerce, released its endorsements for the Kansas Legislature.
In announcing its endorsements, Kansas Chamber Interim President and CEO Kent Beisner said “We are proud to endorse a group of candidates who demonstrate a pro-jobs approach to stimulating the Kansas economy and the personal leadership to form strong public policy. These individuals are committed to reducing government spending and growing jobs in Kansas.”
The release also said that the Chamber PAC endorses exceptional lawmakers and candidates who support the tenets of free enterprise. The selection process focuses solely on the core business issues that impact the state’s economy.
The complete list of endorsements may be viewed at Kansas Chamber PAC Endorsements.
The following looks at the Chamber’s endorsements in districts where there is a primary election contest and the Chamber made an endorsement. Links are to candidates’ campaign websites, where available.
One position in the Kansas Senate is up for election this year. The appointed incumbent for district 7, in northeast Johnson County, is Terrie Huntington. The Chamber endorsed her opponent. David Harvey. Huntington’s votes for the big-spending budget and the sales tax increase probably made this an easy choice for the Chamber.
In primary elections for nomination to the Kansas House of Representatives, there are several contested primary elections. Here’s who the Chamber endorsed:
In Kansas House District 3 (Pittsburg and some area to its west), the Chamber endorsed Terry Calloway over Chad Titterington in the Republican primary. The winner of the primary will face incumbent Julie Menghini in the general election.
In Kansas House District 4 (Fort Scott and areas to its north and west), the Chamber endorsed Caryn Tyson over her opponent Renee Slinkard for the Republican nomination. The winner will face incumbent Shirley Palmer in the general election. An interesting issue in the general election will be Palmer trying to explain her vote in favor of the bill that increased spending, but not for the sales tax to pay for it.
In Kansas House District 9 (Allen County plus parts of Woodson, Coffey, Anderson, and Franklin Counties, including the city of Iola), the Chamber selected Raymond “Bud” Sifers over incumbent Bill Otto in the Republican primary. No Democrat filed, so the winner of the primary is the likely next representative. This year, Otto voted against the spending bill but for the sales tax increase, the only member of the House to vote this way on these two bills.
In Kansas House District 10 (Baldwin City, Wellsville, and small portions of Ottawa and Lawrence), the Chamber selected TerriLois Gregory over Scott James Barnhart in the Republican primary. The winner will advance to face Democratic incumbent Tony Brown in the general election.
In Kansas House District 13 (Eureka, Yates Center, Fredonia, Neodesha and surrounding area) the Chamber endorsed incumbent Forrest Knox over challenger Trent Forsyth in the Republican primary. No Democrat filed.
In Kansas House District 17 (parts of Shawnee and Lenexa) the Chamber selected Kelly Meigs over one-term incumbent Jill Quigley in the Republican primary. Bryan Cox has filed as a Democrat. Quigley fared poorly on both the Kansas Economic Freedom Index and AFP’s legislative scorecard.
In Kansas House District 19 (parts of Overland Park), the Chamber endorsed Jim Denning over challenger James A. Walker Jr. Democrat Delores Furtado is the incumbent, and will face the winner of the Republican primary in the general election.
Kansas House District 20 (parts of Overland Park and Leawood) has three Republicans — Matthew D. Webb, Stephanie Sawyer Clayton, and Rob Bruchman — seeking the nomination. Rob McKnight is the lone Democratic Party filer. This is the district that Kevin Yoder is vacating as he runs for the United States Congress. The Chamber endorsed Bruchman.
In Kansas House District 29 (parts of Overland Park) the Chamber endorsed challenger Richard Downing over first-term incumbent Sheryl L. Spalding. The winner will face Democrat Doug Dowell in the general election.
In Kansas House District 41 (Leavenworth) two Republicans and one Democrat are seeking the position held by retiring Marti Crow. The Chamber endorsed Jana Taylor Goodman over Louis Klemp in the Republican primary. Nancy Bauder is the Democratic candidate.
In Kansas House District 51 (western Shawnee county and parts of Waubunsee county including Alma and Eskridge), incumbent Mike Burgess is challenged by Tyler Feeney in the Republican primary, and the Chamber endorsed Burgess. No Democrat filed.
In Kansas House District 56 (parts of Topeka), the Chamber endorsed Becky Nioce over Jack P. Wu. Democrat Annie Tietze is the incumbent, and she is the only Democrat filer.
In Kansas House District 60 (parts of Emporia) incumbent Republican Don Hill is challenged by Daniel Buller. The Chamber chose to endorse Buller. Hill scores poorly on the Kansas Economic Freedom Index and AFP’s legislative scorecard and is mentioned as one of the leaders of the “left-wing Republican” faction of the House that votes for spending and tax increases. Democrat Michael “Mike” Dorcey will face the winner in the general election.
In Kansas House District 62 (Brown and Nemeha counties) Zachary D. Goodman and Randy Garber are seeking the Republican Party nomination to face incumbent Democrat Steve Lukert. The Chamber endorsed Goodman.
In Kansas House District 64 (Clay County plus parts of Dickinson, Geary, and Riley counties) incumbent Republican Vern Swanson is challenged by Michael Musselman. No Democrat filed. The Chamber endorsed Musselman. Swanson scores low on the Kansas Economic Freedom Index and AFP’s legislative scorecard.
Kansas House District 65 (Junction City and parts of Geary and Wabaunsee counties) has Republicans James P. Fawcett, Ernest F. Honas, and Jack Taylor vying to face Democrat Larry Hicks to replace Barbara Craft. The Chamber did mot make an endorsement in this district.
In Kansas House District 68 (parts of Morris and Dickinson counties including Council Grove and Abilene) two-term incumbent Republican Tom J. Moxley is challenged by Calvin Seadeek Jr. The Chamber endorsed Seadeek. There is no Democratic opponent in the general election. Moxley is another low-scoring Republican on scorecards that reward votes in favor of economic freedom and fiscal conservatism.
In House District 69 (parts of Salina) Tom Arpke is challenging incumbent Republican Deena L. Horst, who has represented the district since 1995. The Chamber endorsed Arpke. Gerrett Morris — not to be confused with Garrett Morris of Saturday Night Live fame — is the lone Democratic filer.
Kansas House District 70 (Chase and Marion counties, plus part of Butler County) features Cheryl Green challenging first-term incumbent J. Robert (Bob) Brookens. Green is noted for her portrayal of “Paul Revere” on her horse at several tea party events. The Chamber endorsed Green. There was no Democratic Party filer.
In Kansas House District 71 (parts of Salina) J. Neil Jednoralski and Ronald Young are challenging incumbent Charlie Roth. The Chamber endorsed Young. There was no Democratic Party filer.
Kansas House District 82 (Derby) has Republicans Joseph Ashby, Jim Howell, and Van A. Willis seeking to oppose Democrat E.L. Lee Kinch. Incumbent Don Myers is retiring. The Chamber endorsed Howell.
Kansas House District 83 (parts of east Wichita) has veteran incumbent Jo Ann Pottorff facing a challenge by Kyle Amos. The Chamber chose Amos for its endorsement. Sean Amore is the lone Democratic Party filer. Pottorf, who has served since 1985, is a low-scoring Republican on scorecards that reward votes in favor of economic freedom and fiscal conservatism.
Kansas House District 94 (parts of west Wichita) has two Republicans — Roy “Coach” Oeser and Wade A. Waterbury — seeking to replace incumbent Joe McLeland. There is no Democratic Party candidate. The Chamber endorsed McLeland.
In Kansas House District 96 (parts of west and southwest Wichita) incumbent Republican Phil Hermanson faces a challenge from Mark S. Gietzen. The winner will face Democratic challenger Brandon Whipple in the general election. The Chamber’s endorsement in this district went to Hermanson.
Kansas House District 109 (Jewell, Mitchell, Republic and Smith counties) has incumbent long-serving Republican Clay Aurand being challenged by Trey Allen Joy. No Democrat filed. The Chamber endorsed Aurand.
In Kansas House District 110 (Osborne, Rooks and Russell counties, and part of Ellis County), Republicans (no Democrat filed in this district) Dan L. Collins, Robert D. “Bob” Miller, and Mark B. Schulte have filed for this open seat. The Chamber selected Collins for its endorsement.
In Kansas House District 115 (Clark, Gray, Meade and Ford counties, including Dodge City) long-serving and past Speaker of the House Melvin J. Neufeld faces a challenge by Garrett Love. The Chamber’s endorsement went to Neufeld. There is no Democratic Party candidate.
Kansas House District 118 (Gove, Lane, Logan, Rush, Trego, Wallace and Wichita Counties) has Robert Tilford challenging first-term incumbent Don Hineman. Hineman is a low-scoring Republican on scorecards that reward votes in favor of economic freedom and fiscal conservatism. The Chamber did not make an endorsement in this district.
Kansas House District 120 (Cheyenne, Decatur, Norton, Phillips and Rawlins counties) has incumbent John M. Faber facing a challenge from Ward Cassidy. The winner will face Democrat Robert Strevey in the general election. The Chamber endorsed Faber.
Kansas House District 121 (Graham, Sheridan, Sherman and Thomas counties) has Brenda McCants challenging incumbent Jim Morrison, with no Democrat filing for the general election contest. Morrison score well on scorecards that reward votes in favor of economic freedom and fiscal conservatism, which is probably one of the reasons he earned the Chamber’s endorsement.
In Kansas House District 122 (Greeley, Hamilton, Kearny and Scott Counties, Finney County: City of Holcomb; Townships: Ivanhoe, Sherlock, Terry, Garden City (part) and Pierceville (part), Haskell County: City of Sublette; Townships: Haskell and Lockport)) Republican incumbent Gary K. Hayzlett faces a challenge from Mark Aurand. The winner of this primary will not face a Democratic party opponent in the general election. The Chamber’s endorsement in this district went to Hayzlett.
Finally, in Kansas House District 124 (Grant, Morton, Stanton and Stevens counties, Haskell County: City of Satanta and Dudley Township, Seward County: Seward Township), incumbent Bill Light is not seeking re-election. Republicans Dan Widder and J. Stephen Alford are seeking the Republican party nomination, with no Democrats having filed. The Chamber endorsed Widder.
More coverage of the Chamber PAC’s endorsements is available at Kansas Liberty in the story Kansas Chamber signals support of pro-business 2010 candidates.