Kansas GOP Insider (wannabe): State Senate Endorsements

Saturday, August 4, 2012

State Senate Endorsements

And NOW, the post you've all been waiting for (drum roll, please) the coveted GIDGET S. State Senate Endorsement List.

Because my goal is to increase my power and because I think most voters are breathlessly awaiting a postcard or email detailing who they should vote for, I'm offering my own list of endorsements -- but only in the races where I know a little bit. (Sorry western Kansas, and by western Kansas, I pretty much mean anything west of Johnson County.)

Hold on tight friends. Gidget is about to blow your mind with state Senate endorsements.


District 6: Chris Steineger

Steineger is an odd, odd bird who seems to not really belong in either party. He's fiscally conservative, sometimes in ways that even make conservatives uncomfortable, but socially a liberal fool. He thinks sucking babies out of their gestational homes with a vacuum is A-OK, and he's probably believes in global warming hokum.

That said, he's a lone Republican with a chance in a district that boasts a whole lot of Wyandotte County. Someone needs to bring the message of conservatism to that corner of the metro. Steineger isn't the perfect messenger, but once those folks get used to electing someone with an 'R' next to their name, it will be easier a second time.

District 7: David Harvey

Harvey is a conservative. The end. His opponent is the RINO, Kay Wolf, who recently told the Kansas City Star that having a conservative Senate and a conservative House is bad for Kansas. Right. If you have conservative principles, don't you want those to win the day? David Harvey does. Where I come from, we call that principles. Where Kay Wolf comes from, it's some sort of devious game to have "balance."

District 8: Jim Denning

Jim Denning is a businessman. His opponent is a lawyer. I could just stop there, but I won't. Owens disgracefully led the Senate this year into a train wreck. He pulled a Lucy to Charlie Brown spiking the football on redistricting. There is every indication that his lack of redistricting efforts were an attempt to gerrymander an opponent out of his district. He needs to go.

Denning, on the other hand, served honorably in the House. And really, let's just be honest. This race is ABO -- Anybody But Owens.

District 9:  Julia Lynn

I almost didn't endorse in this race, but then what would poor voters in the 9th district do if they were forced to go to the polls without my input? Lynn works very hard. At one point, she had the full support of Kay O'Connor. O'Connor was one of the best legislators to ever serve in Kansas. Unfortunately, I believe Lynn and O'Connor had some sort of falling out, so I almost don't know who to trust. But, Lynn is a very nice woman, and she likes vodka tonics. The other person in the race is a Democrat.

District 10: Mary Pilcher-Cook

Eh. She's better than the other candidate. Pilcher-Cook also strikes me as a little more humble than most politicians. That's worth something, too.

District 11: Jeff Melcher

Melcher owns a business and is the conservative choice in his race against Pat Colloton. Throughout this campaign season, and even before, I've been astounded by how hard he's worked. He and his army of volunteers are in the streets almost every night. He's unassuming and dedicated. These are qualities we should all hope for in our elected officials.

The icing on the Melcher endorsement is that he's running against Republican in Name Only, Pat Colloton. Colloton has been endorsed by her predecessor, John Vratil, who I believe could easily vie for the championship title of Most Corrupt Kansas Politician. His endorsement should be the final nail in the Colloton campaign's coffin.

District 21: Greg A. Smith

By now, everyone in Kansas is familiar with the horrible tragedy that brought the Smith family into the public eye. Smith's daughter Kelsey was kidnapped from an Overland Park Target store and killed. Not content to allow the tragedy to define them, the Smith family, including Greg's wife Missey, worked tirelessly to see Kelsey's Law passed in Kansas as well as other states. In the future, the law may help save lives.

Greg recently finished his first term in the Kansas House, and now he's onto a new challenge: A seat in the Kansas Senate. If the voters in the 21st district are wise, they'll give it to him. He's a good man, a hard worker and endlessly principled.

District 37:  Charlotte O'Hara

I have been carefully monitoring this race, because I have been absolutely fascinated by how the establishment has thrown O'Hara under the bus. They haven't just done it once. They continue to run over her body every chance they get.

One very well-placed source in the Capital recently told me that if they did a popularity contest in Topeka, O'Hara would lose. Here I thought politics was about principles and backbone. Silly me.

There's never been a case made more clearly (at least in the brief time that I've been following Kansas politics) of what is wrong with politics. I know where O'Hara made her mistakes. She loudly disagreed with the Governor's plans to implement part of Obamacare in the state.

Legislators have told me that the Governor's door is always open and she should've taken it up with Brownback privately. Instead, she did what all politicians SHOULD do -- she took her concerns to the people. They were worthy concerns that everyone in the state had a right to know. Working out a backroom deal with the Governor would've been the WRONG thing to do.

I heard her speak about her plight to strip Obamacare initiatives from the state. She didn't say anything personal about Brownback -- other than they happen to be second cousins twice removed or some such. She simply disagreed with one of his policies.

She is principled -- even at personal cost. Even when I disagree vehemently with her -- as I did when she boldly backed Steve Howe for District Attorney over Phill Kline, I don't doubt for one second that she's doing what she believes is right. She's not dipping a finger in the pool to test the political waters. It is the quality I value most in leaders, and right now, we have too few leaders in Topeka. By and large, the Capital is filled with people making decisions based on how they can get re-elected or chair a better committee -- not based on what's right.

The other truly bizarre thing in this race: Her primary opponent, Pat Apple, has endorsements from the conservative organizations like Kansans for Life and from moderate organizations like the Kansas National Educators Association.

I think that's a problem. If you've been in office as long as Apple has and everyone likes you, you're doing something wrong. You're not fighting hard enough. You're not standing up for principles. You're going along to get along. Everyone in power knows they can count on Pat Apple to vote with whoever is in power.

In her short time in office, O'Hara has ruffled lots and lots of feathers. I don't see a problem with that, and those that do are THE problem. Conservative principles are worth fighting for, and she has made it evident in short order that she is willing to do battle.


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