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Kansas Equality PAC 2018 General Election Endorsements

About Our Endorsement Process

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).

Last April, Equality Kansas began the process of developing candidate questionnaires for the 2018 election cycle. Questionnaires were then mailed to each declared primary candidate shortly after the June 1 filing deadline, and all candidates were given a June 30 deadline for their return.

As has been our practice since our founding shortly before the 2006 election cycle, Equality Kansas considers a candidate’s voting record to be the most important indicator of their commitment to LGBT rights. Some candidates have 100% positive records, while others are utterly hostile to our community and our mission. Those are easy endorsement decisions to make. The difficult choices come when candidate voting records are mixed. Sometimes an incumbent votes with us, sometimes against. Some bills are worse than others. A candidate may have voted against us long ago, but has since come to understand the importance of LGBT equality and is now a supporter.

A copy of our 2018 gubernatorial and legislative questionnaire is posted on our website. We do not publish completed questionnaires.

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!

Our Choice for Kansas Governor and Lieutenant Governor: Laura Kelly and Lynn Rogers

We choose State Senator Laura Kelly based on her 100% pro‑LGBT voting record, her advocacy for LGBT equality in legislative committees, on the Senate floor, and in her current campaign. Senator Kelly was first elected in November of 2004. Within four days of the Legislature convening in January 2005, she was faced with a vote on the same‑sex marriage ban.

Despite enormous political pressure on the newly elected senator, Kelly voted against the ban. Her support for LGBT rights has been consistent. Her running mate, Senator Lynn Rogers, has in his two years as senator been a strong advocate for LGBT equality, leading the hours-long debate in opposition to this year’s adoption discrimination bill. While a member of the USD 259 Wichita Board of Education, Rogers moved the adoption of district policies adding sexual orientation as a protected class. The Kelly/Rogers campaign scored 100% on our 2018 questionnaire.

Current Secretary of State Kris Kobach has a history of publicly disparaging LGBT Americans, equating us to prostitutes, pedophiles, and drug abusers.

Much has been said about the campaign of independent gubernatorial candidate Greg Orman. While Mr. Orman claims to be in favor of LGBT equality, his running mate, Senator John Doll, voted in favor of this year’s adoption discrimination bill.

Other candidates for Governor either do not have a public record on LGBT issues or did not return our questionnaire, and were not considered for endorsement.


2nd District United States Congress:  Paul Davis

We endorse Paul Davis. While serving in the Kansas House of Representatives, Davis’ voting record scored 100% in favor of LGBT equality.


3rd District United States Congress:  Sharice Davids

Our endorsement 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.


Kansas House of Representatives, 30th District: Brandon Woodard

While a number of openly LGBT Kansans have run for the Kansas State Legislature in the past decade, we have yet to win a seat in the People’s House. This year, we are confident we have a breakthrough candidate who can win and who will represent our community with honor and integrity.

Brandon Woodard, who works for the University of Kansas raising money for their endowment fund, is running for House District 30, a Johnson County seat including portions of the cities of Olathe and Lenexa.
This seat was formerly held by radical-right crusader Lance Kinzer. Kinzer, along with former Rep Jan Pauls, co-authored most of Kansas so-called “religious freedom” bills targeting the LGBT community.

A win here will give LGBT Kansans a strong voice on the floor of the House of Representatives, and will send a message to those who would legislate us into perpetual second-class status.


Kansas House of Representatives – All Districts

District 2 Adam J. Lusker Sr. (D-Frontenac) voting record
District 3 Monica Murnan (D-Pittsburg) voting record
District 4 Lawrence Forbach (D-Mound City) questionnaire responses
District 5 Lassey Murphy (D-Lane) questionnaire responses
District 9 Kent L. Thompson (R-LaHarpe) voting record
District 10 Eileen Horn (D-Lawrence) voting record and questionnaire responses
District 13 Larry P. Hibbard (R-Toronto) voting record
District 14 Angela Justus Schweller (D-Olathe) questionnaire responses
District 16 Cindy Holscher (D-Overland Park) voting record
District 17 Laura Smith-Everett (D-Shawnee) questionnaire responses
District 18 Cindy Neighbor (D-Shawnee) voting record and questionnaire responses
District 19 Stephanie S. Clayton (R-Overland Park) voting record, questionnaire responses, and public statements
District 20 Jan H. Kessinger (R-Overland Park) voting record and questionnaire responses
District 21 Jerry Stogsdill (D-Prairie Village) voting record
District 22 Nancy Lusk (D-Overland Park) voting record
District 23 Linda Gallagher (R-Lenexa) voting record and questionnaire responses
District 24 Jarrod Ousley (D-Merriam) voting record, questionnaire responses and public statements
District 25 Melissa A. Rooker (R-Fairway) voting record, questionnaire responses, and public statements
District 26 Deann Mitchell (D-Olathe) questionnaire responses
District 27 Nicole Rome (D-Overland Park) questionnaire responses
District 28 Brian Clausen (D-Overland Park) questionnaire responses
District 29 Brett Parker (D-Overland Park) voting record and questionnaire responses
District 30 Brandon Woodard (D-Lenexa) questionnaire responses, public statements, and current membership in Equality Kansas
District 31 Louis E. Ruiz (D-Kansas City) voting record and public statements
District 32 Pam Curtis (D-Kansas City) voting record and questionnaire responses
District 33 Tom Burroughs (D-Kansas City) voting record
District 34 Valdenia C. Winn (D-Kansas City) voting record and public statements
District 35 Broderick Henderson (D-Kansas City) voting record
District 36 Kathy Wolfe Moore (D-Kansas City) voting record
District 37 Stan Frownfelter (D-K.C.) voting record
District 38 Stuart W. Sweeney (D-Linwood) questionnaire responses
District 40 Debbie Deere (D-Lansing) voting record
District 41 Jeff Pittman (D-Leavenworth) voting record and questionnaire responses
District 42 Thea Perry (D-) questionnaire responses and public statements
District 43 Pamela Finley (D-Edgerton) questionnaire responses
District 44 Barbara W. Ballard (D-Lawrence) voting record
District 46 Dennis “Boog” Highberger (D-Lawrence) voting record, questionnaire responses, and public statements
District 47 George D. Hanna (D-Tecumseh) questionnaire responses, public statements, and current membership in Equality Kansas
District 48 David L. Benson (D-Overland Park) questionnaire responses
District 49 Darnell W. Hunt (D-Olathe) questionnaire responses
District 50 Down River Dan Brennan (D-Topeka) questionnaire responses and public statements
District 51 Noah L. Wright (D-Wamego) questionnaire responses
District 52 Toni Scalia (D-Topeka) questionnaire responses
District 53 Jim Gartner (D-Topeka) voting record
District 54 Sarah Coats (D-Auburn) questionnaire responses and public statements
District 55 Annie Kuether (D-Topeka) questionnaire responses, voting record, and public statements
District 56 Virgil Weigel (D-Topeka) voting record
District 57 John Alcala (D-Topeka) voting record and questionnaire responses
District 58 Vic “T-Bone” Miller (D-Topeka) voting record
District 59 John Hall (D-Quenemo) questionnaire responses
District 60 Mark Schreiber (R-Emporia) voting record
District 66 Sydney Carlin (D-Manhattan) voting record, questionnaire responses and public statements
District 67 Alex Van Dyke (D-Manhattan) questionnaire responses
District 68 Dave Baker (R-Council Grove) voting record
District 69 Gerrett Morris (D-Salina) questionnaire responses and public statements
District 70 John E Barker (R-Abilene) voting record
District 71 Diana Dierks (R-Salina) voting record and public statements
District 72 Tim Hodge (D-North Newton) voting record
District 78 Jason K Darby (D-Olathe) questionnaire responses
District 79 Ed Trimmer (D-Winfield) voting record
District 81 Shala Perez (D-Wichita) questionnaire responses
District 82 Danette Harris (D-Mulvane) questionnaire responses
District 83 Henry Helgerson (D-Wichita) voting record
District 84 Gail Finney (D-Wichita) voting record
District 85 Monica Marks (D-Wichita) questionnaire responses
District 86 Jim Ward (D-Wichita) voting record and public statements
District 88 Elizabeth Bishop (D-Wichita) voting record
District 89 KC Ohaebosim (D-Wichita) voting record
District 92 John Carmichael (D-Wichita) voting record, questionnaire responses, public statements, and current membership in Equality Kansas
District 93 Clifton Beck (D-Clearwater) questionnaire responses
District 95 Tom Sawyer (D-Wichita) voting record
District 96 Brandon J. Whipple (D-Wichita) voting record
District 97 Rebecca Jenek (D-Wichita) questionnaire responses
District 98 Steven G. Crum (D-Haysville) voting record and questionnaire responses
District 99 Kristi Kirk (D-Wichita) questionnaire responses
District 102 Jason Probst (D-Hutchinson) voting record
District 103 Ponka-We Victors (D-Wichita) voting record
District 113 David W. Curtis (D-Stafford) questionnaire responses and membership in Equality Kansas
District 114 Shanna Henry (D-Cheney) questionnaire responses
District 118 Don Hineman (R-Dighton) voting record
District 119 Bradley Ralph (R-Dodge City) voting record
District 120 Jerry Hill (D-Colby) questionnaire responses

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