Lawrence legislator Marci Francisco eying Secretary of State race

In this file photo from June 2015, Sen. Marci Francisco, D-Lawrence, right, discusses tax issues on the floor of the Kansas Senate.

State Sen. Marci Francisco, D-Lawrence, confirmed Monday that she is considering a run for Kansas Secretary of State next year.

Francisco, a Democrat, said that others have encouraged her to look at the race. But she said she will not make a decision until after the Nov. 7 municipal elections in order to avoid voter confusion.

The Secretary of State’s office will be an open contest in 2018 because the incumbent, Kris Kobach, is seeking the Republican nomination for governor. Francisco could run for the office without risking her Senate seat because that seat isn’t up for re-election until 2020.

Francisco, 67, was first elected to the Senate in 2004. She was just re-elected to her fourth term in 2016. She also served on the Lawrence City Commission from 1979 to 1983.

If she enters the race, she would be the first Democrat to do so, although she said other Democrats are looking at the race as well. No Democrat has won a statewide or congressional race in Kansas since 2006. That was the year Kathleen Sebelius was re-elected governor, Dennis Moore was re-elected to the 3rd District congressional seat, and Paul Morrison, a Republican-turned-Democrat, was elected attorney general.

So far, three Republicans have formed campaign committees to run for the office. They include Rep. Keith Esau of Olathe, House Speaker Pro Tem Scott Schwab, also of Olathe, and Kansas Republican Party Chairman Kelly Arnold of Wichita.