Education First Shawnee Mission has release its endorsements for the upcoming August statehouse primaries.
The group, which was founded in 2017 as a political action committee focused on boosting candidates who would support public education, distributed surveys to all candidates in contested primary races in districts that include a portion of the Shawnee Mission School District.
The survey asked participants for their views on five issues: school funding, tax policy, the role of “outside interest groups,” privatization and school vouchers, and “impartiality versus propaganda.”
“Candidates who completed the survey were then invited to meet individually with members of EFSM to share more about their positions,” said the group in its endorsements announcement. “EFSM used a professional rubric to score both the surveys and the subsequent interviews, and final decisions on endorsements were made by totaling those scores.”
The group did not endorse candidates in every Shawnee Mission area primary race. The endorsed candidates with primary opponents are:
- District 17 – Tom Cox (R)
- District 18 – Cindy Neighbor (D)
- District 22 – Nancy Lusk (D)
- District 30 – Brandon Woodard (D)
- District 30 – Colleen Webster (R)
The announcement also included endorsements for District 29 incumbent Brett Parker, District 17 candidate Laura Smith-Everett, and District 14 candidate Angela Justus Schweller, all Democrats. Parker, Smith-Everett and Justus Schweller do not have primary opponents.
“We are thrilled to know so many pro-public education candidates are running for the legislature and are hoping to serve the people of Kansas,” said Megan Peters of EFSM. “All of our endorsed candidates exemplify a commitment to public schools and to the issues important to the Shawnee Mission community. We look forward to supporting them in the upcoming August 7 primary elections.”
Education First was actively involved in the Shawnee Mission Board of Education races last year, and supported all three new board members elected in the November cycle.
The group says it will issue endorsements ahead of the November general election as well.