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Running as a Democrat isn't easy in Kansas.

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There are a few aspects to this race that need to be examined. First, the political party break down for the 76th Kansas House District where Carol Strickland is running. Roughly this break down is going to be about half republican and a little more than a fourth being unaffiliated and finally the remaining is going to be democrats. There will also be hand full of reform and libertarian party members. (Secretary of State's website doesn't provide a break down by House Districts only by county.) Meaning to be elected to this particular house district without republican votes means that a candidate would have to turn out all register democrats and unaffiliated votes and have them all cast ballots for the democrat in order to win an election. (I think we can all agree this would be pretty incredible to see happen)Second, most candidates in Kansas don't include party affiliation on websites or yard signs. If you would briefly review the websites of many Topeka area candidates as well as most of the candidates running in the area of the state that Carol Strickland is running you would notice that most fail to include their parties animal icon on their homepage or id their political party. This number increases when you look at candidates which are not members of the majority party in their district. This also applies to yard signs. Very rarely do you find a party affiliation on either republican or democrat signs in the state of Kansas because candidates know it turns away more voters than it attracts. I fail to see the problem with not listing party identification on your campaign website. In Kansas, when you go to the voting booth each candidate is clearly identified by political party on the ballot. Also I do not really understand why identifying a candidate's political party is so important. In reality what is more important is their issues and what they are going to do for their constituents. Failing to id party affiliation on campaign literature or yard signs is one of those things that upsets hardcore members of your own party, but those people are going to vote for you anyways. In Kansas, identifying yourself as a democrat upfront does nothing but cause people to stop listening which means as a candidate you can never get your message out. Finally, the specifics of the 76th House District. The current legislator that has held this particular seat for the last 12 years is one of the most conservative members of the Kansas House of Representatives. I think that this speaks a lot of the constituents in her district, that they keep electing her. The 76th House District which is made up of rural Lyon County, northern Greenwood County, and most of Coffey County is a pretty conservative district, especially the portion of the district contained in Coffey County. For a democrat to run successfully in this district the focus cannot be on political parties but rather on the issues. Carol Strickland was an excellent teacher and one of very few who have been chosen for the National Teachers Hall of Fame. Also if you look at Carol Strickland's website you will notice on the front page is a picture of Carol with Governor Sebelius also the website contains pictures with President Clinton, Former Congressman Jim Slattery, and Congresswomen Nancy Boyda. This pictures seem to be far from hiding political affiliation. So my answer for why Carol Strickland doesn't list her political party on her website is simply she is running a campaign that can actually win in the district she is running in.

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