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Archive for Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Moderates seeking to take control of State Board of Ed

October 25, 2006

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Based on the results of the August primary, moderates should take control of the State Board of Education next year.

But if they do, it could be with the slimmest majority - 6-4 on the 10-member board.

And there have been rumblings that conservatives may wage write-in campaigns in the Nov. 7 general election.

Don Hineman, a founder of the Kansas Alliance for Education, which worked to get moderates on the board, said it is important for voters to help boost moderate representation.

"We would like to strengthen and solidify the moderate majority on the board," Hineman said.

The alliance was formed after the current conservative majority on the board approved science standards that criticize evolution and sex education standards that make it more difficult for students to take sex education classes, and hired Bob Corkins as education commissioner though he had no background in education. There also were complaints about some conservative board members spending too much on travel.

Here are the education races:

District 1: Moderate Democrat Janet Waugh of Kansas City, Kan., faces no Republican opponent, but there has been talk of conservatives writing in the name of Jesse Hall, who Waugh defeated in the Democratic primary. The district includes the eastern portion of Douglas County.

District 3: Conservative Republican incumbent John Bacon of Olathe faces moderate Democrat Don Weiss of Olathe.

District 5: Sally Cauble of Liberal faces Democrat Tim Cruz of Garden City. Both are considered moderates, but there have been rumors conservative Republican incumbent Connie Morris, whom Cauble defeated in the GOP primary, will wage a write-in campaign. Morris has denied she will do this.

District 7: Conservative Republican incumbent Ken Willard of Hutchinson faces moderate Democrat Jack Wempe of Lyons.

District 9: Republican Jana Shaver of Independence faces Democrat Charles Kent Runyan of Pittsburg. Both are considered moderates. Shaver won the GOP primary for the seat being vacated by Iris Van Meter, a conservative Republican.

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