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00000179-cdc6-d978-adfd-cfc6d7d40002Coverage of the issues, races and people shaping Kansas elections in 2016, including statewide coverage in partnership with KCUR, Kansas Public Radio, and High Plains Public Radio.

Kansas Democrats Hopeful For More Legislative Gains In General Election

Nadya Faulx
KMUW/File photo
Attendees check in at Saturday's annual DemoFest gathering in Wichita.

Kansas Democrats are optimistic going into the November general election that they can gain a strong hold in the state Legislature.

About 200 Democratic officials, candidates and voters gathered in Wichita for the annual DemoFest to set policy agendas and build momentum ahead of Election Day. After several conservative lawmakers lost their primary races to more moderate candidates, Democrats are hopeful they can take more seats in both the Senate and the House.

Credit Nadya Faulx / KMUW
Sen. David Haley of Wyandotte County.

Sen. David Haley, who's running unopposed for his seat in Wyandotte County, says Kansans are paying more attention to the state’s economy this election year, and they want see a change in leadership.

“We’re optimistic after the primary," he says. "We’re also sure that we can complete the task of weeding out a few more in November at the state and hopefully the federal level."

Ma’Ko’Quah Abigail Jones with Kansas Young Democrats thinks her party could even win over some Republicans who are frustrated with Gov. Sam Brownback’s tax plan.

Credit Nadya Faulx / KMUW
Ma'Ko'Quah Abigail Jones says moderate Democrats could woo Republican voters who are frustrated with Gov. Brownback's tax plan.

“Getting them to vote Democrat is going to be really difficult, but if they can relate to some of the issues that moderate Democrats bring to the table, I think that’s the way to do that.”

And just as moderate Republicans have gained favor over conservative lawmakers, moderate Democrats could be the key to securing more votes.

There is a Democratic candidate in each of the 40 Senate races, and 91 Democrats running for the Kansas House.


Follow Nadya Faulx on Twitter @NadyaFaulx.

To contact KMUW News or to send in a news tip, reach us at news@kmuw.org.

Nadya Faulx is KMUW's Digital News Editor and Reporter, which means she splits her time between working on-air and working online, managing news on KMUW.org, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. She joined KMUW in 2015 after working for a newspaper in western North Dakota. Before that she was a diversity intern at NPR in Washington, D.C.