Government & Politics

After fallout over Cerner role, Olathe Rep. Erin Davis will not run for re-election

Erin Davis
Erin Davis

Rep. Erin Davis, whose tenure became controversial last year after she took a job as a “government strategist” with the Cerner Corp., will not run for re-election.

“I am grateful the people of the 15th District gave me the opportunity to serve as their representative,” Davis, R-Olathe, said in a statement Monday. “As my children finish their first year of high school, the season has come for me to shift my focus from the Legislature to other important priorities.”

When The Star reported on her new position in October, Davis said she did not see the Cerner job as a conflict of interest.

“My territory is (the) Northwest United States,” Davis said at the time. “... Kansas is not part of my territory.”

Under Kansas law, “employment of legislator as a lobbyist (is) prohibited.”

Davis stayed in the Legislature through the 2018 session. She said in January that she was on unpaid leave from Cerner and that her new role was project manager.

A Cerner spokeswoman said in an email that Davis is still on leave.

This year, Davis was removed as vice chair of the influential House budget committee, a position she held during the 2017 session. She subsequently replaced Rep. Steve Alford, a Ulysses Republican, as chair of the House Children and Seniors committee after he made racist comments about African-Americans and marijuana.

Davis has served in the Legislature since 2014.

Two candidates, Democrat Chris Haulmark and Republican John Toplikar, have already filed to run for the Olathe seat.