Stephanie Clayton ends bid for state Senate, will run for re-election to House seat

Reps. Stephanie Clayton (left) and Jerry Stogsdill at a recent legislative forum hosted by the city of Prairie Village. Clayton announced today she will seek re-election to her District 19 House seat instead of running for the state Senate.

Rep. Stephanie Clayton today announced she was withdrawing her name from the race for the Kansas Senate District 7 seat, and would instead file for re-election to the seat in the House she’s held since 2013.

Clayton announced she would seek a seat in the upper chamber in November, weeks after incumbent Barbara Bollier announced she was running for the U.S. Senate. Clayton’s entry into the race set up a contested Democratic primary against Ethan Corson, a Fairway resident and former executive director of the Kansas Democratic Party.

In a news release, Democratic party officials said Gov. Laura Kelly had intervened and encouraged Clayton to seek re-election to her House seat, feeling that her continued service in District 19 woud be valuable. Clayton said she had carefully considered the move before determining she would end her Senate bid.

“This was not a decision that I came to lightly,” Clayton said. “But this past week in Topeka has made it clear that I’m right where I need to be for Kansas. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the House and putting in the hard work necessary to support the Governor’s vision for Kansas. I hope that my constituents will continue to trust me to represent them in 2020.”

Clayton was among the group of moderate Republicans — which also included Bollier and Lenexa Sen. Dinah Sykes — who switched party affiliation after the 2018 elections.

Fundraising number released in this month showed Corson had raised $72,172 in the first two and a half months of his campaign.

Former Mission Mayor Laura McConwell filed to run for the seat as a Republican in December.