Education First Shawnee Mission (EFSM), a Political Action Committee (PAC) and parent advocacy group for the Shawnee Mission School District, has released its endorsements for the 2020 Kansas legislative and State Board of Education races ahead of the August primary. These endorsements are applicable for the August primary and the November general elections. The following candidates have received EFSM’s endorsement as a Pro-Public Education Candidate:
- Senate District 7: DUAL endorsement Laura McConwell (R) and Ethan Corson (D)
- Senate District 8: Cindy Holscher (D)
- Senate District 10: Lindsey Constance (D)
- Senate District 11: DUAL endorsement John Skubal (R) and Joy Koesten (D)
- Senate District 21: Dinah Sykes (D)
- House District 14: Angela Schweller (D)
- House District 16: Linda Featherston (D)
- House District 17: Jo Ella Hoye (D)
- House District 18: Cindy Neighbor (D)
- House District 19: Stephanie Clayton (D) *unopposed
- House District 20: DUAL endorsement Jan Kessinger (R) and Mari-Lynn Poskin (D)
- House District 21: Jerry Stogsdill (D)
- House District 22: Lindsay Vaughn (D)
- House District 23: Susan Ruiz (D)
- House District 24: Jarrod Ousley (D) *unopposed
- House District 25: Rui Xu (D) *unopposed
- House District 29: Brett Parker (D)
- House District 30: Brandon Woodard (D)
State Board of Education:
- Position 2: DUAL endorsement: David Krug (R) and Melanie Haas (D)
EFSM, which is comprised of parents and community members in the Shawnee Mission School District, sent formal surveys to all the candidates running for Kansas Legislature. These surveys included questions based on EFSM’s initial main issues regarding the legislature: School Funding, Tax Policy, Outside Interest Groups, Privatization and School Vouchers, Impartiality vs Propaganda. Candidates who completed the survey were then invited to meet individually with members of EFSM to share more about their positions. The group added a sixth issue, Anti-Racism in Education, to its platform in June and included a section on this topic in the live interviews’ questionnaire. EFSM used a professional rubric to score both the surveys and the subsequent interviews, and final decisions on endorsements were made by totaling those scores. A copy of the EFSM candidate survey can be found on its website at educationfirstshawneemission.org or here.
Candidates’ scores in four races were extremely close, showing all candidates who completed the endorsement process espouse the organization’s values. Therefore, EFSM chose to endorse multiple candidates in those races. Two of those races involve highly contested primary elections – should either candidate lose in their primary race, the organization will not update the seat’s endorsement. While three candidates are running unopposed, all three proactively participated in the review process and earned their EFSM endorsement.
“We are heartened by so many encouraging conversations with candidates,” said Megan Peters of EFSM. “So many in our community recognize the importance of public education and the long-term value excellent public schools bring to our state. As we face the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing crisis, it is even more critical to support our public schools, without which there can be no real economic recovery. The EFSM-endorsed candidates share this point of view and will bring creative and innovative ideas to the Kansas legislature and the State Board of Education.”
The Primary Election will take place on August 4, 2020. Early, in-person voting begins on July 21, 2020. Residents can register to vote online through July 14 and request an absentee ballot through July 31; all absentee ballots must be returned no later than August 3, 2020.
The General Election will take place on November 3, 2020. Residents can register to vote online through Tuesday October 13th and request an absentee ballot through October 30, 2020; all absentee ballots must be returned no later than Monday November 2, 2020.