Meet the maverick freshman legislators
Here’s a look at the maverick freshman legislators who bucked the governor and legislative leaders in 2003 by proposing and voting for a tax increase to better fund public schools.
Boyer is a member of the committees on Commerce and Labor, Economic Development, Financial Institutions, and Public Safety Budget. His sole political experience is his 2002 election to the House.
He is president of two paper-shredding and recycling businesses in Kansas and Utah, owns a Lenexa-based transpiration company, and is director of BFM Bancshares in Kingman. Boyer, 34, is also a member of the Air Force Academy Association of Graduates. He is married and has three children.
Carlin was a member of the Manhattan City Commission from 1993 to 1997 and served as Manhattan mayor from 1996 to 1997. She has also served on the Manhattan Parks Board, Manhattan-Riley County Board of Health, and is a member of the American Association of University Women, League of Women Voters, Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce and Manhattan Arts Center.
In the House, she serves on the committees on Commerce and Labor, Corrections and Juvenile Justice, Economic Development and Higher Education. Carlin, 58, is married and the mother of four.
Craft, 60, was on Junction City’s Board of Education for 16 years before being elected to the House. She sits on the Agriculture, Economic Development, Education, and Federal and State Affairs committees. She is a retired business owner who is currently involved in the Kansans for a Strong Fort Riley board, Junction City Chamber of Commerce and First Presbyterian Church. Craft is a widow and a mother of two.
Davis is a lawyer who was appointed to his seat in January 2003. He sits on the Judiciary, Taxation and Transportation committees.
Davis, 31, has served as the legislative counsel for the Kansas Bar Assn. He is married, and lives and works from his home in Lawrence.
Hill served on the Kansas Highway Advisory Commission from 1997 to 2002. He is a pharmacist who is also involved in the Emporia Area Chamber of Commerce, Emporia Rotary Club, First United Methodist Church. He is a member of the House’s Commerce and Labor, Economic Development, Health and Human Services and Higher Education committees. Hill, 57, is married and has two children.
Holland owns an information technology consulting firm and a property-management business, and is part-owner of an e-commerce marketplace. This House seat is the 42-year-old’s first political position. Holland is on the Commerce and Labor and Health and Human Services committees. An Indiana native, Holland is married and a father of four.
Huntington is a member of the Mission Hills Planning Commission in addition to holding her House seat. She also is involved in the Shawnee Mission Education Foundation, Greater Kansas City Chapter of Gamma Phi Beta and Village Presbyterian Church. In the House, she serves on the Corrections and Juvenile Justice, Economic Development, Higher Education and Taxation committees.
The 53-year-old is married and has two children. Her husband is president and director of Outland Sports Inc. in Overland Park.
Jack, 42, lives and works in Parsons, where he was the assistant city attorney from 1989 to 2000. He is also a major in the Kansas Army National Guard, and a former chairman of the Labette County Emergency Planning Committee. Jack is involved in Rotary Club and Downtown Parsons Inc., and was a former president of the Red Cross and former chair of the Parsons Business Redevelopment Task Force. He serves on the Judiciary, Taxation, Transportation and Kansas Security committees. Jack originates from Tulsa, Okla. He is married and the father of two.
Kassebaum is assigned to the Agriculture, Corrections and Juvenile Justice, Local Government, and Utilities committees.
He’s a 41-year-old attorney and rancher who attended Kansas State for his undergraduate degree and Kansas University for his law degree. He is married, and is the assistant Morris County attorney, partner in the Landon Family Limited Partnership, and director of the Diamond Creek Watershed and the Council Grove Telephone Co. He’s also the son of Nancy Kassebaum Baker, the former longtime U.S. senator from Kansas.
Neighbor is a retired medical administrator who is vice president of the Shawnee Mission school board and a past president of the Kansas Association of School Boards. In the House, she is on the Health and Human Services, Higher Education, Insurance, and Utilities committees. Neighbor, 54, is married and the mother of four.
O’Malley was appointed to his seat in January 2003 to replace Bob Tomlinson, who resigned. O’Malley was director of constituent services for Gov. Bill Graves from 1999 to 2001. O’Malley is involved in Cure of Ars Catholic Church, Beta Theta Pi fraternity and Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training. He is a banker and is married.
In the House, he’s on the following committees: Corrections and Juvenile Justice, Economic Development, Taxation, and Tourism and Parks.
Reitz has been involved with the Unified School District 383 Board of Education, Manhattan City Commission, Riley County Health Department board, Manhattan Library Board, and served as Manhattan mayor. He also works with the Manhattan Community Foundation, First United Methodist Church and the Manhattan Rotary Club.
Reitz, 70, was born in St. Joseph, Mo. He is a physician by trade, is married and has five children.
In the House, he’s on the following committees: Health and Human Services, Higher Education, Local Government, and Utilities.
Sawyer is an accountant who first served in the House from 1986 to 1999. A former minority leader in the House, Sawyer was most elected again in 2002. He is now a part of the Ethics and Elections, Rules and Journal, Taxation, Tax, Judicial and Transportation Budget and State-Tribal Relations committees.
He also has been Sedgwick County Clerk from 1984 to 1985, Kansas Democratic Party state chairman, 1999-2003, and was a former president of Kansas Young Democrats. He is 45 years old, single and involved in Westside United Methodist Church’s council and urban ministries board.
Sharp served as a U.S. Senate legislative aide for foreign affairs, defense, international trade, and agriculture issues from 1998-2000. She also was involved in the Johnson County Republican Central Committee and the Johnson County Young Republicans. She serves on the House’s Commerce and Labor, Ethics and Elections, Health and Human Services, and Insurance committees.
Sharp, 28, is single, and a former government relations advocate.
Svaty’s sole political experience is his current term as house member. He is a member of the Environment, Ethics and Elections, Health and Human Services and Utilities committees.
Svaty is a farmer. He is single, and at 23, is the youngest member of the freshman class.
Toelkes initially was appointed to the House in December 2001 to replace his wife, Dixie E. Toelkes, who resigned. He then was elected in November 2002. He is a retired high school athletic director who served on the board of the Kansas Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Assn. He worked for the Topeka school district and Allen County Community College. Toelkes, 67, serves on the Ethics and Elections, Local Government, Transportation, Utilities, and Children’s Issues committees.
He is married and the father of four.
Yoder is on the Lambda Chi Alpha board and is a member of the Kansas Alumni Association. He was the Kansas University student body president in 1998 to 1999. A lawyer, he is a member of the Kansas and American Bar Assns. He is 27 and single.
He is assigned to the Commerce and Labor, Corrections and Juvenile Justice, Judiciary and Special Claims Against the State committees.
Yonally, who ran unopposed in the 2002 general election, is serving in his second stint in the House. He previously served from 1973 to 1976.
He sits on the Education, Ethics and Elections, Local Government and Transportation committees.
He is a consultant who is involved in the Kansas Film Commission Services Board and volunteers at the Sunflower State Games and the Big 12 Basketball Tournament. Yonally, 66, is married and has two children.