(Originally posted by Equality Kansas to Equality Kansas News)
Equality Kansas’ political action committee, the Kansas Equality PAC, is today announcing its primary endorsements for United States Congress.
Endorsement in the primary is not a guarantee of endorsement for the general election! General election endorsements depend on the outcome of the primary races, and will be re-evaluated and announced in September.
Equality Kansas is non‑partisan. Our advocacy work in the Kansas statehouse and city halls across the state requires us to work with elected officials of both parties. When considering candidates for elected office, Equality Kansas examines their public record on LGBT issues. We generally prioritize a candidate’s record in this order:
- Are they a friendly incumbent? In other words, are they the current officeholder running for re-election, and do they have a voting record that is favorable to LGBT rights?
- Are they a current or former office holder, running for a new office? If so, what is their voting record on our issues?
- Is the candidate a member in good standing of Equality Kansas? (Defined as current in their dues and supportive of our mission).
- Is the candidate an “out” member of the LGBT community?
- What kind of responses, if any, have they given on the Equality Kansas candidate questionnaires?
- What verifiable public statements has a candidate offered in support of LGBT equality? (Private assurances of support are not considered).
Our political action committee met this year on July 4, and spent several hours reviewing and debating the voting records, questionnaires, and public statements of the candidates. Our primary endorsements are:
1st Congressional District:
No endorsement. None of the three candidates – two Republicans (Roger Marshall and Nick Reinecker) and one Democrat (Alan LaPolice) – responded to our questionnaire or have public statements supporting LGBT equality.
2nd Congressional District:
In the Democratic primary, we endorse Paul Davis. While serving in the Kansas House of Representatives, Davis’ voting record scored 100% in favor of LGBT equality.
In the Republican primary, we are making no endorsement. Five of the seven candidates for the Republican nomination are current or former members of the Kansas legislature, and all five have a uniformly hostile voting record against LGBT rights. The remaining two candidates did not submit questionnaires or make public statements favoring LGBT equality.
3rd Congressional District:
Our endorsement in the Democratic primary goes to Sharice Davids. As an open member of the LGBT community and member of Equality Kansas, Davids has made securing non-discrimination protections one of her top priorities. In the Republican primary, we endorse Trevor Keegan, who has made strong public statements supporting LGBT equality.
4th Congressional District:
Our endorsement in the Democratic primary goes to Laura Lombard. She and her primary opponent, James Thompson, have public statements on their campaign websites supporting equality, but only Lombard’s is fully inclusive of both sexual orientation and gender identity. At one point prior to last year’s special election in the 4th District, Thompson’s website included gender identity, but that appears to have been removed some time in the past year.
In the Republican primary, we are making no endorsement. The incumbent Ron Estes did not return our questionnaire, nor has he made any statements supporting LGBT equality. His opponent, also named Ron Estes, also has no public record in support of LGBT equality.
Please note that Equality Kansas evaluates candidates on LGBT‑specific issues. As an individual voter, a candidate’s record on equality may be only one among your priorities. Whether or not you agree with our assessments, we hope this information adds to your understanding of the candidates for Kansas governor. Even if you vote differently from our recommendations, get out and vote!