Local chapter of Women for Kansas to host forum for primary candidates in newly drawn Senate District 19

photo by: Kim Callahan/Journal-World

The Douglas County elections office at 711 W. 23rd St. is pictured Monday, Oct. 31, 2022.

The Lawrence/Douglas County chapter of Women for Kansas is set to host a forum this weekend for primary candidates vying for election in the newly drawn Senate District 19.

At 10:30 a.m. Saturday, the local Women for Kansas chapter will host Democrats ShaMecha King Simms, Vic Miller and Patrick Schmidt, the current candidates for election in Senate District 19, via a Zoom webinar. People interested in learning more about the candidates can register for the webinar in advance and will then receive a confirmation email with instructions for how to join.

As the Journal-World has reported, Senate District 19 is a new Kansas Senate district that was created when state lawmakers approved redistricting maps in 2022. The district pairs large parts of northwestern Lawrence — generally the area north of Sixth Street and west of Lawrence Avenue — with east Topeka. At the time when redistricting maps were approved, there wasn’t a member of the Senate living within those boundaries.

All three candidates reside in Topeka. Miller is currently representing House District 58 — including part of Topeka and Tecumseh Township in Shawnee County — as a Democrat and serves as the House minority leader. Schmidt ran unsuccessfully for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives against incumbent Jake LaTurner in 2022. King Simms would be a newcomer to elected office.

Both Miller and King Simms are listed as having filed for candidacy on the Kansas Secretary of State’s website, but Schmidt’s filing doesn’t appear on the list as of Monday.

A spokesperson for the local Women for Kansas chapter told the Journal-World Monday that Schmidt’s campaign contacted the chapter and said they’d have enough signatures to appear on the ballot by the time of the forum, even if it’s not fully processed by the secretary of state by then, and provided proof of a treasurer for the campaign and a filing of a report of candidate receipts and expenditures by Jan. 10.

“Our goal with the forum is to provide as much (information) to voters as possible,” the spokesperson said. “We will provide a description of the situation at the beginning of the forum to inform voters.”


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