Democrats select attorney Dan Osman to fill closely contested Kansas House seat in Overland Park

Local Democrats have picked 44-year-old attorney Dan Osman to fill an empty Kansas House seat in Overland Park. Democrats selected Osman on Friday, July 9, to fill the seat in

Local Democrats have picked 44-year-old attorney Dan Osman to fill an empty Kansas House seat in Overland Park.

Democrats selected Osman on Friday, July 9, to fill the seat in House District 48 made vacant when former state representative Jennifer Day resigned last month.

District 48 runs north and south between 119th and 151st Street, primarily between Switzer Road on the west and Antioch Road and Metcalf Avenue on the east.

Osman, a University of Kansas School of Law graduate, is a practicing attorney whose primary expertise is in affirmative action.

“I help women and minorities seek participation on contracts and obtain certifications to grow their business. I’ve focused on that for 13 years, half in the private sector and half in the public,” Osman told the Shawnee Mission Post in an emailed statement.

He has experience in local public office and elections prior to this most recent appointment.

He was twice elected to the Hickman Mills School Board in Kansas City, Mo., and he also unsuccessfully ran for Overland Park City Council in 2019, losing to incumbent Councilmember Fred Spears.

Osman says he does plan on running for a full term in 2022.

“My focus at this point is learning about the wants and needs of the residents of District 48. I’ll do that by holding monthly town halls where residents are free to speak about issues important to them and I can take that information back to Topeka,” he told the Post.

Close contests

District 48 has been won by Democrats the past two election cycles in extremely close contests.

In 2018, Democrats picked up the seat when former Blue Valleys Schools superintendent David Benson beat incumbent Republican Abraham Rafie by 82 votes.

After Benson resigned before the 2020 election, Democrats picked Jennifer Day to fill the seat, and she beat Republican Terry Frederick in November’s elections by roughly 60 votes.

In June, Day announced her resignation, telling the Post she and her family were moving out of the district into another part of Johnson County.