Brandon Woodard, who was serving as vice-chair of the Johnson County Democratic Party, has filed to run for the Kansas House of Representatives, challenging fellow Democrat Matthew Calcara for the District 30 nomination.
A native of Topeka, Woodard has lived in Lenexa since graduating from the University of Kansas, where he served as vice president of the student body. He works in the KU Endowment Association’s fundraising department. Woodard noted that he will be stepping down from his leadership roles in both the Johnson County Democratic Party and the Kansas Young Democrats to focus on campaigning.
In his campaign announcement, Woodard indicated he would be focused on funding for education and infrastructure, and that he was committed to finding “common-sense solutions that our district can be proud of.”
“This election will provide voters with a clear contrast,” Woodard said. “I’m confident that the people of our district support a shared vision of government that works for all of us and will vote to restore our state after the harmful policies of the failed Brownback experiment.”
Calcara has been actively campaigning for the seat since last May, and announced 2017 fundraising numbers that put him at a significant financial advantage over Powell. Responding to Woodard’s entry into the race, Calcara said his campaign “harnesses the energy of progressive principles” and that Woodard represented “the establishment of the Democratic Party.”
“Our campaign has been working diligently, meeting constituents, recruiting volunteers and registering voters in anticipation of the fall contest with ultra-conservative state Rep. Randy Powell,” Calcara’s campaign said in a statement. “We are confident our progressive ideals will create a clear, definitive contrast to ensure victory in both the August primary and the general election.”
Based on recent election outcomes, Powell is considered among the more vulnerable members of the House in this year’s cycle. Here’s KU political science professor Patrick Miller’s take on the the district:
Powell won his 2016 primary by 12 points in a good year for moderates, who may not face as good a political environment in 2018. He may be more vulnerable in a general election to a Democrat than he is in a R primary, but lots of months left for that to develop.
— Patrick Miller (@pmiller1693) February 12, 2018
Woodard’s campaign website is here.