© 2021 KMUW
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Some Kansas Lawmakers Already Face Challengers For 2016 Election

Becky McCray
flickr Creative Commons

An earlier version of this piece aired August 4, 2015, during All Things Considered.

There’s more than a year before the 2016 election, but some races in the Kansas Statehouse are starting to take shape. Just this week, Wichita school board member Lynn Rogers decided to challenge sitting Republican state Sen. Michael O’Donnell. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports, that’s just one of several challengers taking on incumbent state senators.

Emporia State University political science professor Michael Smith says it’s early for activity in Kansas Statehouse races, but the headline-catching session this year may be driving some of the interest.

Smith says conservative Republicans are entering the election in a strong position. They control both Statehouse chambers. He says it’s not yet clear if the 2015 session attracted enough attention to affect races in 2016.

“For people who are politically plugged in, this legislative session was a big, big, big deal. But if these –whether they be Democrats or moderate Republicans–if they really want to see voters shift, there’s really only one way, and that’s for the voters to see the impact in their district and in their own lives,” Smith says.

The full Kansas House and Senate will be up for election in 2016.