Speculation starts on who would run for Davis’ legislative seat if he runs for governor

With House Democratic Leader Paul Davis considering a challenge to Republican Gov. Sam Brownback in the 2014 election, some are speculating on who would run for Davis’ seat to represent House District 46 in Lawrence in the Kansas Legislature.

So far, one candidate has emerged: Abbie Hodgson, 31, who has been a worker in Democratic Party circles and held several different jobs under former governors Kathleen Sebelius and Mark Parkinson, both Democrats.

“Having worked in the administration, I have seen the positive impact that government can have in the lives of Kansans,” Hodgson said. “Unfortunately, under the current governor and the current Legislature, we have taken a step back.”

Political insiders say they have heard others are thinking about whether to run, but no names have surfaced.

Hodgson currently teaches in the communications department at Kansas University while completing her doctoral degree in political communication. She also operates a political consulting firm called Prairie Fire Consulting and is secretary of the Douglas County Democratic Party.

House District 46, which includes Kansas University, is one of the most Democratic in Kansas, which is one of the most Republican states in the country.

In 2012, Davis, who has served in the Legislature for 10 years, did not have an opponent.

Last month, Davis created a gubernatorial campaign committee and said he would soon announce a decision on whether he would challenge Brownback.