The following is a description of the possible ballot items that Douglas County residents will encounter on Tuesday. Lawrence and Douglas County are divided into multiple districts, so it’s a good idea to check your voter information on
the Kansas Secretary of State’s website to determine which districts you’re eligible to vote for.
The items are in the order they will appear on the ballot.
President and Vice President of the United States
Chuck Baldwin and Joseph Martin — Reform Party
Reform Party presidential candidate
Chuck Baldwin is a fundamentalist Christian pastor and a former Florida state executive of the Moral Majority. He is a member of the Patriot Movement, which adheres to extreme anti-government doctrines. He distanced himself from the Republican Party in 2000, later comparing evangelicals’ acceptance of Bush to Germany and Hitler. He ran for vice president on the Constitution Party ticket in 2004 and for president in 2008.
Joseph Martin is the Reform Party vice-presidential candidate. Previously, he was the chairman of the Reform Party of Kansas from 2002 to 2005, and was vice chairman in 2006.
Baldwin and Martin
only appear on ballots in the state of Kansas. Andre Barnett is the national Reform Party presidential candidate.
For more information:
Gary Johnson and Jim Gray — Libertarian Party
Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party’s presidential candidate, was the governor of New Mexico from 1995 until 2003 as a Republican. While in office, Johnson vetoed more than 750 bills. As a Libertarian, he tends to support conservative fiscal values and liberal social ideologies such as abortion and LGBT rights. He cut taxes 14 times, never raising them. He is also the founder of Big J Enterprises, a corporation that has grown from a one-man operation into a 1,000-employee company.
Jim Gray, the VP candidate, is a former judge on the Orange County Superior Court in California. He also served in the Navy as a staff judge in the Navy’s JAG Corps and as a federal prosecutor in Los Angeles. In 2004, Gray ran for a U.S. Senate seat in California’s 46 th district. Some of his top concerns include repealing policies that contribute to the “war on drugs,” returning control of education and healthcare programs to the local level, and implementing tax reform.
For more information:
Barack Obama and Joseph Biden — Democratic Party
While in office, the Obama administration has spearheaded an agenda that has supported
equal pay for women, appointed the first Hispanic justice to the U.S. Supreme Court, repealed the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy and instituted controversial healthcare reform. To offset a major economic downturn, Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, a $787 billion stimulus package to help a distressed economy. For the first time since taking office, national unemployment has recently fallen below 8 percent.
For more information:
Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan — Republican Party
Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts,
favors a more limited government than President Obama. He has proposed to cut taxes and government spending to reduce the size of the federal government and bring down the national debt. While he was in Massachusetts, he restructured his state’s economy by cutting and consolidating government programs, including aid for small towns and for higher education. During his time as governor, he eliminated $3 billion in state deficits. By the end of his term, the government had a $2 billion surplus. He vetoed hundreds of items brought before him while governor.
Paul Ryan is a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Wisconsin. Ryan voted for the Bush tax cuts in 2001 and 2003 and the Troubled Asset Relief Program (
TARP). He has been the ranking Republican member on the House Budget Committee since 2007. His voting record is exclusively pro-life.
For more information:
United States Representative, 2nd District
Lynn Jenkins, Topeka – Republican
Jenkins spent nearly 20 years as a certified public accountant; she has served in both the Kansas House and Senate and is a former Kansas State Treasurer. She currently serves on the House of Representatives’ House Committee of Ways and Means. According to her website, Jenkins’ main goals are to increase job and economic growth in Kansas, support a strong national defense and improve transparency in Congress — all while maintaining a fiscally responsible government. She believes future cuts in spending will
trim trillions off of the current administration’s budget. Unlike her opponent, Jenkins does not support President Obama’s overhaul of medical insurance practices in America known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
For more information:
Tobias Schlingensiepen, Topeka – Democrat
Schlingensiepen states that his top four priorities are jobs and the economy, education, fiscal responsibility and, according to his
campaign’s website, “making certain that everyone — including wealthy corporations — pays their fair share.” He is a former pastor in the First Congregational Church and a chaplain with the Topeka Police Department. He says he would invest in education, foster a business-friendly environment, punish companies who send jobs overseas, expand Kansas’ energy industry, promote the healthcare industry and support the Kansas farmer. Schlingensiepen is a proponent of election reform and would like to distance corporate lobbyists from elected officials. He has attacked Jenkins multiple times on this issue.
For more information:
Dennis Hawver, Owzawkie – Libertarian
Hawver’s main goals as a politician are to end any “unconstitutional wars,” sending anyone who funds these wars to prison. He believes downsizing government by 50 percent across the board — from military spending to aid for low-income families — as well as cutting taxes by 50 percent across the board. He wants to repeal the Patriot Act among others to give “more freedom” to citizens. He wants political figures to have a vastly smaller role in American society.
For more information: N/A
Find your Senate and U.S. Representative districts here.
State Senator, 2n d District
Ronald B. Ellis – Republican
A retired teacher from Meriden,
Ron Ellis is now a cattle rancher in Jefferson County. Ellis is anti-antibortion and a fiscal conservative. He has previously worked for the campaigns of Sens. Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran, U.S. Rep Lynn Jenkins and former senator and Gov. Sam Brownback.
Marci Francisco – Democrat
Marci Francisco, D-Lawrence, is seeking her third four-year term in the Kansas Senate. She serves on several committees, including the Kansas Senate’s Ways and Means Committee. Francisco was recently on record as being against Gov. Brownback’s recent tax cuts in their current form and against reforming the state’s laws in regards to judicial selection.
State Senator, 3rd District
Anthony R. Brown, Eudora – Republican
Brown says his goals are to reform the economy to benefit hard-working companies and reform the state’s government to be more “efficient and effective.” He is a proponent of “family, traditional values and caring teachers,” according to
his website. He says these are the “keys to our children’s success, not government mandates.” He is a Marine Corps veteran and a former schoolteacher. Brown and his opponent have dueled on multiple tax laws. Brown says his opponent “ hurt low-income Kansans” when he voted for a one-cent tax increase in 2010.
Tom Holland, Baldwin City – Democrat
Holland says his four main goals for Kansas are to create jobs and protect wages, restore state funding for K-12 public schools, promote tax policies that benefit hard-working Kansas families and to lower property taxes. Holland has served as both state senator and member of the state house of representatives. He is also a local business owner. Holland is against Gov. Brownback’s tax cuts toward education, while his opponent favors them. “ I know that education is the future,” he says, “and I will fight to keep it strong.”
A brief example of both candidates’ views on state tax policy is available here on
Kansas Public Radio’s site.
State Senator, 19th District
Casey W. Moore – Republican
Casey Moore, whose motto is “more jobs, less government,” is a conservative political novice. He’s been a pastor and identifies himself as “an alternative to a liberal legislator.” According to his website, Moore wants to reduce the regulation of small businesses and “intrusive nature of government.”
Anthony Hensley – Democrat
Senate Minority Leader
Anthony Hensley, D-Topeka, is the state’s longest-serving legislator. He’s served in the Kansas Legislature since 1976. Hensley is a public school teacher and has voiced concerns about the effect Gov. Sam Brownback’s tax cut plan would have on education and social services funding.
State Representative, 10th District
Erica Anderson – Republican
Erica Anderson has been endorsed by the Kansas Chamber of Commerce PAC. She is anti-abortion, and according to her website, she supports a more efficient and effective government and will oppose legislation that infringes on Second Amendment rights.
John Wilson – Democrat
John Wilson works for a nonprofit that works to reduce childhood obesity. According to his website, he supports restoring cuts to public education, creating a fairer tax code and legislation that would require contractors to hire at least 70 percent of their workers from Kansas.
State Representative, 42nd District
Connie O’Brien – Republican
Seeking her third term, state Rep.
Connie O’Brien of Tonganoxie has been endorsed by the National Rifle Association and Kansans for Life. In 2009, she supported legislation to create a new coal-fired plant in Holcomb. O’Brien also supports incrementally eliminating Kansas’ income tax.
Harold D. Fevurly Jr. – Democrat
Harold Fevurly Jr. is a former Pleasant Ridge school board member and is now a facilities and grounds director. Fevurly is a self-described moderate and says education funding is his top priority.
State Representative, 44th District
Patrick Bengtson, Lawrence – Republican
Bengtson’s policies revolve around improving K-12 and higher education, expanding Medicaid while still keeping the Kansas market competitive. He also supports restructuring the state’s tax codes. He is a 2005 graduate of the University of Kansas and also graduated with a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 2009. He says on
his website he got in to politics after watching his father struggle to navigate the complexities of modern American medical care while with a health condition.
Barbara W. Ballard, Lawrence – Democrat
As the current incumbent,
Ballard was first elected to the Kansas State House of Representatives in 1992. She has served on the House Appropriations Committee and the House Committees on Social Services Budget. Ballard served as Dean of Students at the University of Kansas, Assistant Vice-Chancellor of Student Affairs, and Associate Director of the Dole Institute of Politics. When interviewed by PoliticalFiber, Ballard said what set her apart from her candidate was her wealth of experience. She cited healthcare, education and public safety as her top priorities.
State Representative, 45th District
Tom Sloan – Republican
Sloan is serving his ninth term in the Kansas House of Representatives and is currently the chairman of the Vision 2020 Committee and is a member of the Energy and Utilities, Local Government, and Agriculture and Natural Resources Budget Committees.
According to his campaign website, education is one of his top priorities, and he believes the government has a responsibility to provide affordable education for college and vocational students. “Even more than educational opportunities, two factors will determine the future of our state – clean, abundant water supplies and affordable, reliable, responsible energy supplies,” the site says.
State Representative, 46th District
Paul Davis – Democrat
Paul Davis is a lifelong Lawrence resident and he received his undergraduate degree from the University of Kansas. Before serving in the legislature, he worked as assistant director of government affairs for former Insurance Commissioner Kathleen Sebelius, as well as for the legislative and Ethics Counsel at the Kansas Bar Association. He has served in the Kansas House of Representatives since 2003 and in 2008 was elected Kansas House Democratic Leader.
State Representative, 54th District
Ken Corbet – Republican
Corbet is a member of
Governor Sam Brownback’s Council on Travel and Tourism and also serves on the Dean’s Advisory Council at Kansas State University, School of Agriculture. According to his website, Corbet’s top three priorities are growing the economy by reducing income taxes and minimizing the role of government, supporting the second amendment, and defending an anti-abortion agenda.
Ann Mah – Democrat
Mah has been a state representative since 2002 and she is a Democratic Party precinct committeewoman. Previously, Mah taught high school science, was an engineer for Southwestern Bell and she is now the owner of Discover! Strategies.
Board of Education, 4th District
Check this map to find out which state school board district you live. Most of Lawrence is in the 4th district.
Jack Wu – Republican
According to his website, Wu believes the school system “is preparing its students to be liars, crooks, thieves, murderers, and perverts.” As an active member of the Westboro Baptist Church, Wu says his mission in running for a seat on the School Board “is to throw out the crap that teachers are feeding their students and replace it with healthy good for the soul knowledge from the holy scriptures.” In order to help solve the school budget problems, he says he will eliminate funding for evolution textbooks and “pseudo education.” He has not previously served in office.
Carolyn L. Campbell – Democrat
Campbell currently serves as the Vice Chair of the Kansas State Board of Education. She served three terms on the Topeka Public Schools Board of Education as well as two additional terms as President.
Charles E. Branson, Lawrence – Democrat
Branson is running unopposed for the office and has served since 2005. According to his website, Branson created the first consumer protection program in Douglas County. He has
restructured the district’s domestic violence unit so cases will receive the “unique attention and care they necessitate due to the (the) nature of these crimes and especially to assist the survivors.” He is currently the president of the Douglas County Bar Association.
County Commissioner, 2nd District
Frank A. Male – Republican
Male has been a small business owner in Douglas County for more than 25 years and has served on the Lawrence-Douglas County Metropolitan Planning Commission.
According to his website, he plans to “concentrate on core governmental functions of public safety, essential human services and infrastructure.” He says it’s important to note the distinction between “wants” and “needs” in this economically challenging time.
Nancy Thellman – Democrat
Thellman has served as the County Commissioner for District 2 since 2008. She was vice chair of the Commission in 2009 and 2010 and is currently the vice chair. Her top four priorities,
according to her website, include creating and retaining jobs in Douglas County through strategic development partnerships, the responsible investment of taxpayer dollars, supporting human and social services for vulnerable citizens, and protecting the natural, historic and cultural resources in Douglas County.
County Commissioner, 3rd District
James E. Flory, Lawrence – Republican
Flory is running unopposed for the office. Flory served 27 years with the U.S. Department of Justice as a prosecuting attorney. He served as District Attorney of Douglas County, Assistant Attorney General, Assistant United States Attorney, and the United States Attorney for the District of Kansas. His site on douglas-county.com reads, “His long-term goal is to foster well-planned economic growth to provide quality jobs for Douglas County residents and enhance the business tax base.”
Jameson (Jamie) Shew, Lawrence – Democrat
Shew is running unopposed for the office. Shew has served as the county clerk since he was first elected in 2004. His office is responsible for processing election results on all levels of government for Douglas County. His office also issues licenses and maintains property records.
Paula Gilchrist, Lawrence – Democrat
Gilchrist is running unopposed for the office. She has served as treasurer since 2005. Her office collects and distributes taxes and also offers access to property tax information for Douglas County residents. Gilchrist previously served as the Social Service Director of the Salvation Army for three years.
Register of Deeds
Kay Pesnell, Eudora – Democrat
Pesnell is running unopposed for this office. She has held this office since 2002. Before service as register, Pesnell was the Deputy Register of Deeds and the recording clerk for the office. She has served in some capacity in the office since 1990. Her goals are to maintain accurate land records for Douglas County, continue to provide prompt and courteous service to the public and to upgrade technology as needed.
Kenneth McGovern, Lawrence – Republican
McGovern is running unopposed for this office. He has spent 27 years in law enforcement and has been sheriff for four years. His goals are to keep in communication with the community. He is “committed to providing Douglas County citizens and visitors with the highest quality of service so that our communities can continue to maintain and excellent environment in which to live and raise a family,”
according to his website.
For more information:
Douglas County Residents will vote on a constitutional amendment. Your ballot will include a bunch of legal jargon, but put simply, the amendment would simply re-classify watercraft for tax purposes. Currently, boats are taxed the same as other pieces of property and at a significantly higher rate than in other states. While cutting taxes to make more money may not immediately make sense, if the tax cut lures boaters into registering their boats in the state of Kansas, instead of in another nearby state, the theory is that Kansas will actually gain money in the long run.
• Voting “yes” to approve the change means that boats will now be taxed at a lower rate.
• Voting “no” would keep the current and higher tax rate on boats.