Candidates line up for Kansas House races

12/31/1840 2:00 PM

06/05/2014 3:40 AM

The races for the Kansas state House are just about set with a noon deadline today for filing to run for office.

As of Monday morning, five GOP incumbents in Johnson County were facing primaries on Aug. 5 with Rep. Amanda Grosserode facing possibly the stiffest test.

The conservative Lenexa Republican, who is seeking a third term, is facing opposition from Republicans Ray Marshall and Jameia Haines. Both GOP challengers live in Overland Park.

Should Grosserode slip past the primary, she will face the winner of a contest pitting Democrats Arthena Easterwood and Don McGuire, both of Overland Park.

This is shaping up to be a far different year for Grosserode, a school choice advocate who had no opposition in 2012 and crushed Democratic incumbent Gene Rardin in the Republican sweep of 2010.

Other primaries in store for Aug. 5 based on the filings so far:

-- Freshman Republican incumbent Rep. Craig McPherson of Olathe faces opposition from GOP challenger Stacey Schlimmer of Overland Park. Democrat Jodie Dietz also has filed for the seat.

-- Freshman Rep. Stephanie Clayton, a moderate Republican from Overland Park, drew a challenge from Jennifer Floyd of Overland Park in District 19. Democrat Patricia Stratton of Prairie Village also has filed for the seat.

-- Two-term Republican incumbent Barbara Bollier of Mission Hills will have primary and general election opposition in District 21.

Bollier faces primary opposition from Prairie Village mortgage banker Neil Melton, a 2007 graduate of the University of Kansas.

Democrat Amy Bell is making another run for the seat after losing to Bollier in 2012 with 47 percent of the vote.

-- Out in Olathe in District 49, Republican state Rep Scott Scott Schwab is facing Republican opposition from John Wilson, who ran against the incumbent as a Libertarian and lost in 2012. Democrat Darnell Hunt of Olathe also has filed for the seat.

Here is a roundup of the other filings as of Monday morning:

-- Democrat Merlin Ring has filed to run against Republican state Rep. Keith Esau of Olathe in District 14. Ring ran unsuccessfully against state Sen. Julia Lynn of Olathe two years ago.

-- Democrat Steve Wright is running in District 15 against Republican Rep. Erin Davis of Olathe who was appointed this year to fill the seat vacated by former state Rep. Montgomery.

-- Former Lake Quivira Mayor Larry Meeker, a Democrat, is making another bid against incumbent state Rep. Brett Hildabrand of Shawnee in District 17. Meeker ran unsuccessfully for the seat two years ago. He had to run as an independent in that race because of a paperwork mixup.

-- Democratic Shawnee Mission School Board member Cindy Neighbor is running against Republican state Rep. John Rubin. Neighbor is a former three-term state representative.

-- Democratic incumbent Nancy Lusk has Republican opposition from Mike Jones of Overland Park in District 22.

-- In District 23, incumbent Republican Kelly Meigs of Lenexa has said she is not running again. Democrat Amber Versola and Republican Linda Gallagher are vying for the open seat, which an unkown Democrat came within 162 votes of winning in 2012. Both candidates live in Lenexa.

-- In District 25, incumbent Rep. Melissa Rooker, a moderate Republican, once again faces Democratic opposition. Jennifer Robinson is seeking to unseat Rooker, who survived a narrow race against a Democrat in 2012.

-- In District 26, Democrat Cheron Tiffany has filed against incumbent Republican state Rep. Larry Campbell of Olathe.

-- In District 27, House Speaker Ray Merrick of Stilwell drew opposition from Democrat Theresa Hohl, also of Stilwell.

-- In District 29, freshman Republican state Rep. James Todd of Overland is facing a challenge from Democrat Heather Meyer, also of Overland Park.

-- In District 30, Olathe state Rep. Lance Kinzer, one of the Legislature’s leading opponents of abortion and same-sex marriage, announced he is not running for a sixth term.

Former state Rep. Ron Worley of Lenexa has filed to run for the seat. Worley lost to Kinzer in 2012 after the two were placed in the same district when election boundaries were redrawn. Democrat Liz Dickinson also has filed.

-- In District 33 in Kansas City, Kan., Edwardsville Republican Sue Edwards has filed to run against Democratic incumbent Rep. Tom Burroughs, the assistant minority leader in the House.

-- In District 36 in Wyandotte County, Republican Earl Freeman has filed to run against state Rep. Kathy Wolfe Moore, who defeated a Republican and Libertarian with 65 percent of the vote in 2012.

-- In District 38, Democrat Jan Pringle has filed to run against Republican state Rep. Willie Dove of Bonner Springs.

-- In District 39, Republican state Rep. Charles Macheers of Shawnee will face Democrat Vicki Hiatt, also of Shawnee.

-- In District 43, incumbent Republican state Rep. Bill Sutton of Gardner is facing opposition from Democrat Caitlin Trujillo, also of Gardner.

-- In District 78, Olathe state Rep. Ron Ryckman Jr. will have Democratic opposition. Jim Poe of Olathe has filed to run against the freshman Republican, who was unchallenged in 2012.

Incumbents who were not facing a challenge this year as of Monday morning were: state Rep. Marvin Kleeb, R-Overland Park; state Rep. Rob Bruchman, R-Overland Park; state Rep. Emily Perry, D-Overland Park; state Rep. Jerry Lunn, R-Overland Park; Louis Ruiz, D-Kansas City; Pam Curtis, D-Kansas City; Valdenia Winn, D-Kansas City; Broderick Henderson, D-Kansas City and Stan Frownfelter, D-Kansas City.

To reach Brad Cooper call 816-234-7724 or send email to

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