2020 Primary Voters Guide: Christina Haswood running for House District 10
photo by: Contributed/Christina Haswood
Christina Haswood, 26, would become the youngest member of the Kansas Legislature, in addition to only the body’s third Native American member in history, if she wins the Aug. 4 primary for the 10th House District.
Haswood told the Journal-World upon filing for the race that she was somewhat intimidated when some local community members approached her about running for the seat.
But after taking some time to consider, Haswood said she decided to use her expertise in public health — she graduated in May from the KU Medical Center with a master’s degree in public health management — to launch her candidacy.
“I’ve always wanted to give back to my Lawrence community,” she told the Journal-World in May. “This opportunity just came at the right time, and I feel like I’m qualified to help lead my district and state.”
Growing up, Haswood and her family struggled with poverty. But, being a Native American woman, she said that experience helped open her eyes to the disparity of policy decisions and “how a ZIP code can determine your life expectancy.”
Haswood is a registered member of the Navajo Nation and received her associate degree from Haskell Indian Nations University in community health. She later received a bachelor’s degree in public health from Arizona State University.
Haswood currently works as a research assistant with the National Council of Urban Indian Health and the Center for American Indian Community Health, where she studies tribal youth nicotine addiction and COVID-19’s effect on Native populations.
Due to Haswood’s work in the public health sector, one of her main legislative priorities if elected would be expanding Kansas’ Medicaid program. If the state had passed Medicaid expansion when it was initially suggested in the 2010 Affordable Care Act, it could’ve added millions of dollars in state revenue and prevented rural hospitals from closing — not to mention the impact it would’ve had on managing the COVID-19 pandemic, she said.
“It’s pretty much what we learned about the last two years of medical school,” Haswood said. “I was just angry; being young, it’s like, ‘Why are you guys doing this?'”