Both State Rep. Barbara Ballard and Douglas County Commissioner Mike Gaughan filed for re-election Thursday. Both Lawrence residents are Democrats.
Ballard, associate director of the Dole Institute of Politics at Kansas University, was first elected to the Kansas House in 1992. She serves the 44th district, which covers portions of western and central Lawrence.
She said as the economy recovers, the state needed to focus on “strategic investments.”
“To do so requires that we continue to provide necessary funding for K-12 and post-secondary education,” Ballard said.
A Democratic committee appointed Gaughan last year to fulfill the county commission term of Charles Jones after Jones stepped down to focus on his job at KU.
The county’s 1st commission district is entirely in Lawrence. Gaughan now works as a public information officer in the Kansas attorney general’s office and has served as an assistant to Govs. Mark Parkinson and Kathleen Sebelius.
He said a full term would allow him to focus on growing bioscience jobs in the county, especially during difficult budget times.
“We’ve made decisions to protect the foundation of the safety net that takes care of our neediest families,” Gaughan said. “At the same time it’s making sure that we’re protecting our investment in public safety.”
According to election officials, Ballard and Gaughan through Thursday were the only candidates to file in their respective races for the Aug. 3 primary.