Topeka — With schools facing an uncertain funding future, the Kansas National Education Association released its list of recommended legislative candidates.
The primaries are Aug. 7, and the general election Nov. 6.
The KNEA’s recommended list includes 56 Democrats and 42 Republicans who the KNEA said have pledged to support children.
The candidates are selected based on answers to questionnaires and interviews with teachers from the candidate’s district.
“Those local teachers decide which candidates show the greatest support for public schools; those who will stand up in Topeka for a quality public school for every child,” said Terry Forsyth, KNEA director of political action.
The KNEA said that schools have been harmed by budget cuts in recent years, and that the tax cuts signed into law by Gov. Sam Brownback will devastate the state budget and lead to additional cuts in school programs.
“It’s not just our schools that will suffer if we don’t find the best policymakers,” said KNEA Vice President Karen Godfrey. “Our roads and highways, public safety and vital services for seniors and those with disabilities are all at risk. We simply must elect legislators who are more interested in preserving our Kansas quality of life than in promoting a particular ideology,” Godfrey said.
In the Senate, the KNEA recommended a group of moderate Republicans who have been targeted for defeat by the Kansas Chamber of Commerce.
Locally, the KNEA recommended Sens. Marci Francisco, of Lawrence, Tom Holland, of Baldwin City, and Anthony Hensley of Topeka. All three are Democrats who will face Republican challengers in November.
In local House races, the KNEA recommended Reps. Barbara Ballard, D-Lawrence, Paul Davis, D-Lawrence, Tom Sloan, R-Lawrence, and Ann Mah, D-Topeka. Davis and Sloan are unopposed in their re-election bids.
The KNEA said it was continuing to interview candidates and additional recommendations may be coming.