elections

The same technology that allows you to stream your favorite team or show from anywhere also allows political groups from either side of the aisle to find you and subject you to a glut of political ads for congressional races in Kansas, Missouri and all over the country.

Come in and sit down at Anita Parsa’s kitchen table. Help yourself to the chocolate chip cookies and she’ll get you an iced tea. Might as well make yourself comfortable.

Because for the next hour, she’s going to school you on a massive voter-tracking program run by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach.  

“I like to figure out puzzles,” Parsa says. “I like to crack things, and that’s what this is all about.”

This week, the GOP’s gubernatorial nominee, Kris Kobach, called for more stringent work requirements for Medicaid and welfare recipients in Kansas. That drew more comparisons to former Gov. Sam Brownback from Kobach's Democratic rival, Laura Kelly. 

Meanwhile, Kelly picked up an endorsement from yet another former Republican governor. And independent Greg Orman insisted he’s not a spoiler in the race.

And new congressional campaign fundraising reports in the 2nd District show political newcomer Steve Watkins, running as a Republican, is continuing to get support from his father and a lot of help from U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan's super PAC. In the same period, veteran Democrat Paul Davis's take was a record for the district.

The Kansas News Service team walks through this week’s campaign headlines.


Stephen Koranda / Kansas News Service/File photo

Former Republican Kansas Gov. Mike Hayden has endorsed Democrat Laura Kelly in this year’s race for governor. That means only one living Kansas governor has stayed totally out of the race: Republican Sam Brownback.

Mark Statzer / KMUW/File photo

KWCH-12 and KMUW partnered to host a debate between 4th Congressional District incumbent Ron Estes and his Democratic opponent, James Thompson. The two candidates faced each other in the April 2017 special election and are once again on the ballot in the Nov. 6 general election.

The two top candidates for Kansas governor sparred in a debate over a familiar name: former Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback.

The two distanced themselves from Brownback, who left office earlier this year with sagging approval numbers.

Carla Eckels / KMUW

There are nearly 70,000 Spanish-speaking people living in Wichita, many who could head to the polls next month. As the midterm elections draw near, more Spanish speakers are being made aware of the election process and learning about who is running for office.

A group of Hispanic women recently participated in a Spanish voter training session at Wichita’s Peace and Social Justice Center to help with that effort.

Sedgwick County Looking For Help On Election Day

Oct 11, 2018
LaRissa Lawrie / KMUW/File photo

Sedgwick County needs more than 100 workers for the general election on Tuesday, Nov. 6.

Shifts begin at 4:45 a.m. and last until about 9 p.m. at the county’s 73 poll locations. Workers are required to attend a paid training session.

Positions are available for election clerks, provisional ballot judges and supervisors. Pay begins at $120 for election day, plus $37.50 for training.

A limited number of positions are available for half-day shifts, which pay $7.50 per hour.

A local Kansas GOP official has resigned after making disparaging remarks about Kansas congressional candidate Sharice Davids, writing "Your radical socialist kick boxing lesbian Indian will be sent back packing to the reservation."

On Sunday night, Michael Kalny, former GOP precinct committeeman of Shawnee, Kansas, made the remarks in a private Facebook message to Anne Pritchett, a chapter president of the Johnson County Democratic Women.

Pritchett said she was surprised at first. 

President Donald Trump is coming to Kansas this weekend, and some Republican candidates are hoping that will provide them a boost. That includes the Republican newcomer running for Congress in the 2nd District, who’s fending off more questions about his background, and Secretary of State Kris Kobach. Meanwhile, Kobach's Democratic opponent in the governor's race, state Sen. Laura Kelly, is trying to tie him to former Gov. Sam Brownback.  

Jim McLean, Stephen Koranda, and Madeline Fox of the Kansas News Service discuss whether any of it will sway voters.


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