Secretary of State’s office rejects candidacy application of conservative who filed to run against Republican Tom Cox

EschrichThe man who last week filed to run against first-term incumbent Tom Cox in the Republican primary for the District 17 House seat is having to redo his paperwork after having his candidacy application rejected by the Secretary of State’s office.

Jim Eschrich found out Tuesday that he was not technically qualified to run in District 17, which encompasses parts of Lenexa, Shawnee and Lake Quivira, because his current voter registration information did not match the residency information he listed on his campaign paperwork.

Eschrich said he spent nearly all of the previous two decades living in the District 17 area, but moved to Louisburg for much of 2016 to assist his girlfriend in readying a rural property there for sale. He said he moved back to the Shawnee Mission area in early 2017, but his current voter registration information still reflects his primary residence being at a location on 311th Street in Louisburg.

“I respect that we need to follow the rules set out for state elections,” Eschrich said. “It’s a bump in the road, but I’m not going to let it stop us from moving forward. I’ll refile in the next few days, and will look forward to being able to focus on talking about the issues.”

Different questions about Eschrich’s residency prompted his campaign to issue a correction to the announcement press release it distributed last week, which listed his home as being in Shawnee.

“Jim Eschrich, who is running for the Republican nomination for Kansas state representative, lives in Lenexa within the boundaries of the district. It was stated incorrectly in a recent campaign press release that he was from Shawnee,” read the correction notice. “This was an inadvertent error made by a new campaign volunteer and was not an attempt to mislead voters. We hope this email sets the record straight.”

Eschrich said last week that he was entering the race because he strongly disagreed with Cox’s vote to roll back much of the 2012 Brownback income tax cuts.

Cox said that he “welcomes and encourages any competition in the race.”

“I think having an open and fair primary is a good thing,” Cox said. “It gives voters a choice.”

Johnson County Election Office records indicated that Eschrich has not cast a ballot in any election here since 2014. He did not vote in this year’s local primary and general elections. He says he did cast a ballot in Louisburg in the presidential election last year.

“I have not been an active voter, which probably makes me simpatico with about 80 to 90% of the people out there,” he wrote us this afternoon. “That said, I’m involved now… and that’s what counts!”