Archive for Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Candidate says doubts about residency ‘crazy’

September 11, 2012


— The president of a tea party group in Wichita on Monday questioned whether a former Democratic legislator who’s running again for the Kansas House lives at the address he lists as his home, a concern the ex-lawmaker dismissed as “crazy.”

Craig Gabel, president of Kansans for Liberty, said interviews with neighbors and other information gathered by the group suggest that no one lives at the address listed by former Rep. Tom Sawyer when he filed for office in June. Gabel is challenging Sawyer’s right to run as the Democratic nominee in the 95th House District, and a state board is expected to consider Gabel’s objection later this week.

Sawyer said the allegations are politically motivated, adding, “I don’t know what he’s talking about.”

Sawyer isn’t the only Kansas House candidate to have his or her residency in a district challenged. Veteran Rep. Jan Pauls, a Hutchinson Democrat, had to address questions about her home before winning a narrow victory in the Aug. 7 primary, and a Republican nominee in a far northeast Kansas district recently withdrew from his race.

But questions about Sawyer are notable because of his past prominence among Democrats. He served 12 years in the House, becoming its minority leader, before running unsuccessfully for governor in 1998. He later served four years as state Democratic Party chairman and returned to the House in 2003, stepping down in 2009 to take a position on the Kansas Parole Board.

Gabel said information gathered by Kansans for Liberty suggests that Sawyer lives in another part of the Wichita area, outside of the 95th District.

“There’s nobody living in this house,” Gabel said. “We’ve been watching it for some time.”

Property tax records from Sedgwick County, available online, named Sawyer as the owner of the home listed as his residence. Those records say the home was built in 1920, has almost 2,000 square feet of space, three bedrooms, two full bathrooms and a partially finished basement.

Legislative directories consistently listed it as Sawyer’s home, starting in 1994, and Sawyer has been registered to vote at the address since 1993, according the Kansas secretary of state’s office.

“I’ve lived here 20 years,” Sawyer said. “That’s crazy.”

The State Objections Board will decide whether Sawyer will remain on the ballot in the November general election to challenge freshman Rep. Benny Boman, a Wichita Republican. The board is the secretary of state, attorney general and lieutenant governor — all Republicans — and it is expected to convene Thursday afternoon.


jim7 5 years, 8 months ago

Maybe they should check Pat Roberts empty house that has never been lived in.

Mike1949 5 years, 8 months ago

I imagine he (pat) lives in or near Washington, just a guess though.

Paul R Getto 5 years, 8 months ago

To a certain extent, 'residency' is a state of mind.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 8 months ago

What ever happened to the notion of citizen legislators. People who would serve for a short period of time and then return to their chosen profession. Nowadays, their chosen profession is being on the public dole forever. It's become so bad, they don't even know where they live. Serve a term or two, and then go home.

chootspa 5 years, 8 months ago

Being on the public dole, arguing that the government can't do anything well, and proving themselves right.

Hooligan_016 5 years, 8 months ago

Right, because Democrats have such a stranglehold on the Kansas Legislature.

Hooligan_016 5 years, 8 months ago

OK, now that was funny, haha. +1 back to you!


beatrice 5 years, 8 months ago

... says the guy who lives only to worship the party of Richard Nixon. Sad indeed.

So how long do you think you will last around here this time?

meggers 5 years, 8 months ago

He should file stalking charges against the group.

Kansans for LIBERTY??? Good one.

JayhawkFan1985 5 years, 8 months ago

Sounds like gable is stalking Sawyer. Isn't that a crime? Wouldn't that make this tea party group a criminal organization under RICO?

Fossick 5 years, 8 months ago

No, his mind is not for rent

To any god or government.

Always hopeful, yet discontent,

He knows changes aren't permanent,

But change is.

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