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Dear Friend:

Hello again! Now for the non-Johnson County races – I get most of this intel from clients or friends across the state, so bear with me as I try to highlight some of the bigger races and/or where I know people well.
 
CORRECTION: I forgot the Sheriff’s race in JoCo – I get more questions about that than anything else because it’s been a pretty quiet race.
JoCo Sheriff – Calvin Hayden
Cal is a good guy, professional, seems to work well with others, which is what you need when you’re working with as many Chiefs of Police as we have in JoCo.
  • You might remember Cal from “The Toplikar Issue” when he caught his opponent on video stealing his yard signs. He won that race and served four years on the Johnson County Commission.
I don’t know the other two candidates at all, though I’ve seen all three in two public forums recently
There are dozens of great candidates across the state, but only a handful I know well enough to endorse. Even in the midst of chaos, I am optimistic and if you need hope for Kansas, I have it in spades and there's plenty to go around! Heck, there's Good for Kansas and Joy for Kansas, too – read on!
 
Disclaimer: Many of these candidates are clients in some way –
I'm either helping them with printing/yard signs/paraphernalia or
they're using my VoteSharp constituent communications app.
 
CANDIDATE RESEARCH
If voters are given access to resources in an unbiased way, I know they’re smart enough to make educated decisions. However, that information is difficult to find – and I know where to look! For unbiased information about the candidates, please visit KanVote.com/learn, a site I developed to provide a 1-stop shop for candidate research: surveys, endorsements, articles, forum videos, etc. Yes, I have a bias and you can read that below or ask me for more specifics.
 
VOTING RESOURCES
Am I registered?
Where do I vote?
What races will be on my ballot?
I want to vote before August 2!
I want to vote by mail!


Stephanie Sharp
Owner, Sharp Connections
Translating Politics Into English
House 123 (Garden City): John Wheeler

I’ve used this candidate forum video as a great example of how to be passionate, make points, but also be affable in challenging your opponent. The Johns (see Senate 39) absolutely rocked it. I’ve known John since the Attorney’s office and Treasurer’s office were both at the Courthouse in Garden City and graduated high school with his youngest daughter. We’ve talked politics since I was in college, talked Harleys when I married Dan (who was a Harley engineer at the time), and in recent years, we commiserated about the freefall of our state. He’ll do a great job replacing Rep. John Doll (running for Senate)!
House 7 (Parsons & surrounding): Rich Proehl
Rich is the current Chairman of the House Transportation Committee and has been stuck between a rock and a hard place for a very long time. He has worked hard to build bridges (figuratively) among the many factions of the Republican Party in the legislature and is a source of wise counsel for many. He works hard to be accountable to his constituents.


Senate 20 (Topeka) & 31 (NW Wichita, HVCO): Vicki Schmidt & Carolyn McGinn

Not currently clients, but I’ve known Vicki and Carolyn for a long time and can vouch for their commitment to constituents, researching the issues, and being responsive and accountable! The McGinn race is beginning to get the negative mailers dropped much earlier in the Schmidt race:
  • Schmidt: This race is another shocker on the ethical side – her opponent would absolutely vote to continue the same disastrous path we are on (indeed he was in the House in 2012 and voted for the tax bill), but is using the anti-incumbent sentiment to try to fool voters that he’s the reasonable candidate. When in fact, Sen. Schmidt has been a key leader in the effort to bring some common sense back to the Capitol. This race got nasty four years ago when he ran against her and with the intentionally misleading advertising I’ve seen, it’s gonna be a BAD two weeks. Keep sanity in Topeka, keep Vicki Schmidt!
Senate 39 (FI, KE, GT, GL, HM, HS, MT, ST, SV, WH counties): John Doll

John is a deep thinker – his self-effacing nature belies a deep intellect and penchant for hard work. You learn about his passion for sports and that he was a coach. Then you get a Greek mythology reference about the parallels of turn-of-the-century US politics and today, all tied back to a sports analogy. He LEARNS the issues, listens to voters, and votes accordingly in Topeka. He’s definitely not the guy who will make the popular vote because it’s easy! This video gives you a great perspective.
  • My hometown of Garden City was SO well represented for 20 years by Steve Morris. I don’t think people imagined a scenario where he would lose, so they didn’t vote in 2012, and thereby elected Larry Powell. Sen. Powell is a nice man, but seriously – what person west of Topeka would dream of supporting a $3/acre tax on ag land? Even (most) JoCo legislators wouldn’t touch that with a 10’ pole.
House 13 (SEKS): Larry Hibbard

Larry has the largest House district in the eastern half of the state and it is all very rural with a lot of smaller towns. He once told me he participates in 13 parades every year. That’s a LOT of candy and parade giveaways! He religiously writes a newsletter for his dozen-or-so community papers and does a great job of telling it straight – no frills, just the facts – AND what he thinks about it!
Miscellaneous
I don’t know these folks well but know they would be an improvement over their opponent(s)!
  • House 80 (Ark City): Anita Judd-Jenkins
  • Senate 14 (south central/east): Bruce Givens
  • Senate 15 (SEK): Oh for the love of all that is good, please remember Dan Goddard. I’ve never met the guy, but his opponent gets Kansas on the national news every year for something ridiculous and/or racist.
  • Senate 24 (Salina area): Randall Hardy
  • Senate 33 (South central/west): Mary Jo Taylor
  • Senate 34 (Hutchinson area): Ed Berger
  • Senate 38 (Dodge City area): Joyce Warshaw
House 60 (Emporia) & 75 (El Dorado, part of BUCO): Mark Schreiber & Mary Martha Good

Good for Kansas! I’ve known Mary Martha (Marty Schreiber for GCK natives) since I was very young – she worked with my dad at Western Motors and was on the GCCC Board of Trustees back in the day. She’s been a teacher in El Dorado for a long time and recently retired. Not to be flippant but… Something tells me a Kindergarten teacher would be a good fit in the Capitol!
  • Mark is her brother, who I also know to be a fantastic person (of course, because he’s a GCK native) and as a former lobbyist, really knows his way around good policymaking – the way it use to be done when transparency and process mattered!
House 64 (Clay Center, CYCO, rural RLCO): Susie Swanson

This is a rematch from two years ago and to be sure, her opponent thinks the sun has never been shining brighter in our state. Susie is sharp, shows up for her citizens, and takes a lot of time researching and learning the ins and outs of issues. Her constituents are lucky to have her!

House 104 (north Hutch, Buhler): Steven Becker
House 113 (PR, SFCO, parts of BA, PN, RC): Greg Lewis

I don’t know either of these guys well, but know they are pragmatic, thoughtful leaders in the legislature – the original rural conservatives – a breed we’ve sorely missed in the legislature since the Tea Party movement in 2010. My newsletters started in 2002 because I was young, broke, cheap, and email was free… I LOVE what Rep. Becker does with his video newsletters – what a great way to share your thoughts, in your voice –literally.
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