General Election Endorsements

Kansas Advancing Women endorsed the following candidates for the General Election on November 8, 2016:


Pat Petty – Senate District 6


Work Experience

Educator, Turner School Dist.202

  • 1968-2006

Elected to Kansas House of Representatives, 31st District


Elected to Unified Board of Commissioners, District 6



  • Turner High School, 1964
  • BS and MS, Education, University of Kansas
  • Administration Certification, Emporia State University


  • Leadership 2000, Class VI
  • Cantor, Sacred Heart Catholic Church
  • Lifetime member ,Kansas PTA
  • Coordinator, Implementation of At-Risk Preschool for Turner USD 202, 1996
  • Past President, KNEA, Turner USD 202
  • Past president, Our Lady of Unity School PTO
  • Past President, Argentine Opti-Mrs.
  • Chairperson, KNEA Resolution Commission, 1999-2002
  • Coordinator for the Silver City Celebration 1976-2001
  • Grinter House Board,2005 to 2011
  • Board member Turner Community connection(TCC)2011-present
  • MARC Board,2008-2011
  • Chairperson Mayor’s Council Against Domestic Violence 1999-2011
  • Chairperson Wyandotte Homeless Continuum of Care 2007-2011
  • 2000 Oak Grove Teacher of the year
  • League of Kansas Municipalities Excellence in Local Government Award 2007
  • KCK  school Foundation for Excellence 2010-present
  • Crosslines Retirement board 2012
  • 36 years educator Turner USD 202


  • Marital Status, married to John M.Pettey
  • 2 daughters—Alicia Pettey Brown and Andrea Watson and 5 grandchildren

Vicki Hiatt – Senate District 10


Vicki Hiatt is a graduate of KU with a Master’s Degree in special education.  A native Kansan, Hiatt is retired after a rewarding career teaching and caring for many of Johnson County’s most at-risk children.

An expert in educating children with behavioral disorders, Vicki has served in a number of teaching and leadership roles, providing training and leadership to educators working with at-risk children.

In the fall of 2015, Vicki received certification as a Court Appointed Special Advocate, a community-based program that recruits, trains and supports volunteers to advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children in courtrooms and communities.

Vicki Hiatt made the decision to run for the Kansas Senate out of concern for the state’s slow economic growth and revenue shortages that have forced cuts in state services, such as public education and mental health programs.  These shortages due to Governor Brownback’s bad tax policy have forced reckless borrowing from our highway funds and delaying payments to the state’s pension plan for state employees.  Hiatt looks forward to being part of a more moderate legislature that will bring fiscal responsibility back to our state.

Lynn Grant – Senate District 13

ca7bd6_3db9e9c186fb4238a74593bde9bbfa76Raised in Overland Park, Lynn Grant came to Southeast Kansas to attended Pittsburg State University, and has lived in the area ever since.

Public service has always played a part in Lynn’s life.  Alongside her husband, former State Representative Bob Grant, Lynn has been dedicated to the community.  She has worked in public education and post­secondary education, and has served on the Cherokee City Council.

Grant was also the owner of a family business, and knows the struggles small business owners face daily.

Lynn, and her late husband Bob, were married for 46 years before his passing last December. Together they had one daughter, Megan. Megan and her husband Kevin Fry, of Frontenac, have two children, Ross and Katie.

Lynn was involved with re-establishing the Cherokee Homecoming, and currently serves on the board of directors for Big Brutus and the Elm Acre’s Foundation. She is a member of the Cherokee Gun Club and attends Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Frontenac, where she is involved with Altar Society.

Susan Fowler – Senate District 17


Susan Fowler is running for the 17th Kansas Senate District because she knows what it’s like to have too much month left over at the end of the paycheck. One year ago her home county, Lyon, was ranked 104th out of 105 counties for per capita income. She has seen firsthand how hard-working Kansas families are hurting because of the governor’s failed economic policies.

If elected, Susan will work to repeal the disastrous tax cuts of 2012 and 2013. Rebuilding the economy is the first step toward restoring public education funding and repairing the social safety net. Too many Kansans have been denied healthcare through mismanagement of Medicaid, and seniors are in danger of losing in-home services that allow them to live independently.

Susan established her information management consultant business 22 years ago. Her business is based on a “people first” philosophy that goes beyond mere platitudes. Hers is an active professional service that customizes information products to the unique needs of her clients. She counts among her clients organizations in the fields of philanthropy, healthcare, and the law.

Susan serves her local community as a board member of the Emporia-Lyon County Board of Zoning Appeals, a commissioner on the Emporia-Lyon County Metropolitan Planning Commission, and chair of the Lyon County Democratic Party. She serves at the state level as chair of the Kansas Democratic County Chairs Caucus.

Dinah Sykes – Senate District 21

Dinah is a full-time stay at home mom who also runs her own business as a personal chef. She is a graduate of Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, Tennessee, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration with minors in finance and economics.

Prior to having children, she worked in higher education as a development officer. Dinah has been active in her community and has a passion for serving others. She has served as PTA treasurer, PTA president, Alumni Board Member for her alma mater, and is a 2016 Alumni of Leadership Lenexa through the Lenexa Chamber of Commerce.

Dinah is running for office because she believes the people of Kansas deserve representatives who listen to them and respect them. She hopes to work to protect the quality of life that has drawn many to Kansas and keep it as a place where the next generation will stay and raise their own families.


Christy Levings – House District 2


A lifelong Kansan who was born and raised in Topeka. Christy graduated from Washburn University with a bachelor’s degree and received a master’s degree in educational policy and administration from the University of Kansas, which included the Institute of School Law at Harvard University     She also completed a program of graduate studies in behavioral psychology at UMKC.

Christy taught and provided professional development for educators in public schools for forty years.  Christy is retired as an elementary teacher.  Teaching mainly in Louisburg and Olathe.  She currently serves as Vice Chair of the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards which certifies the most accomplished teachers in the nation.  She serves on the Board of Trustees for the National Teacher Hall of Fame, Emporia, Kansas.   Her past work in Education includes being a national Officer of the National Education Association and President of the Kansas NEA.  She was part of many Foundations, Training Experiences, Associations, and received awards for her outstanding teaching.  Christy currently does consulting and professional development in the area of education and leadership

Christy has been married to David Levings for 44 years with two children and 3 grandchildren. They live on a small farm in rural Miami county and raise cattle.
David is retired from the US Postal service and served as a Marine.  They are decades long member of the Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Paola.  She is a member of PEO, a member of Women 4 Kansas, and a Miami County Kansas Democratic Party.

Jean Kurtis Schodorf, House District 12


Jean Kurtis Schodorf, Ph.D., Democrat, is a candidate for District 12, Kansas House, in souotheast Kansas.

Schodorf, a speech pathologist, is a graduate from University of New Mexico and Wichita State University.

She wants to stop Sam Brownback’s disastrous policies and fix the income tax problem.  Schodorf is a strong proponent of public education and funding and will fight to expand Medicaid.  She believes that Kansas must develop a long range fiscal plan for the State of Kansas and that we must begin using our tax dollars more efficiently and wisely, instead of trying to plug the deficit.  Basic services need to be restored for the citizens of our state.

Schodorf has three children and a new grandson, William.  She lives in Sedan and owns and operates the historical site, the Little House on the Prairie Museum, with her brother, Bill Kurtis. She served in the Kansas Senate for 12 years from Wichita and has extensive experience with education and the budget.  She believes that there must be a new majority in the Kansas Legislature to fix the problems caused by Sam Brownback.

Cindy Holscher, House District 16


Cindy Holscher’s experience as an effective business manager and committed volunteer have proven she can get things done and is in touch with the community. She worked 12 years with Sprint Yellow Pages involved in budgeting, marketing and management before devoting herself full time to raising her children and working as a volunteer to better her community.
A 15-year Johnson County resident, Cindy and her husband, Greg Holscher,have three children who attend public schools, where Cindy has served as a volunteer in the classroom and as a leader with the PTA, both locally and at the state level. She also has volunteered with her church and the local library. Cindy is looking forward to serving the 16th House District by working to put the state on a healthy financial footing, fund public schools and promote fairness in public policies.

Helen Stoll, House District 17

Helen is a lifelong Kansan and has lived in Lenexa for 23 years. She graduated from Shawnee Mission North high school and the University of Kansas with a degree in Business Administration. She was Vice President of two major Kansas City banks for over ten years originating, analyzing and servicing a commercial real estate loan portfolio. She then took time to raise her two children, now 17 and 22, and work part time. Helen is currently employed at Johnson County Community College working in Registration helping its diverse student population with enrollment and college processes.
In addition to work and family, community service is very important to Ms. Stoll. She’s been involved with her children’s schools and PTA organizations, Boy Scouts, Mainstream Coalition, and Game on for Kansas Schools, as well as other community and civic groups. Her involvement with these organizations is due to their representation of the values we share as Kansans – high quality public education, sound financial management, fairness, and looking out for our neighbors.
Ms. Stoll is running to represent Shawnee and Lenexa because of the need for a balanced, rational approach free from strict ideology to governance that is largely lacking in Topeka. She believes that the current administration is not protecting our state’s reputation and values nor acting in the best interests of the state as a whole by making short sighted decisions that cost Kansans more in the long term. Her background in finance, community service, and education gives her the tools and knowledge to analyze policy based on costs, benefits and consequences to make better choices for all concerned.

Stephanie Clayton, House District 19


Representative Stephanie Clayton has served in the Kansas House of Representatives since 2012. She has served on the following committees: Federal and State Affairs, Social Services Budget, Transportation and Public Safety Budget, Agriculture and Natural Resources Budget, Local Government, and Utilities and Telecommunications. Clayton has long been a strong advocate for Transparency in Government, and is the Author and Chief Sponsor of the Transparency Act. She lives in Overland Park with her husband and two young children.

Dorothy Hughes – House District 21

Hughes Headshot

Dorothy has lived and worked in Northeast Johnson County more than 10 years. After growing up in McPherson, Kansas, she earned a bachelor’s degree from American University and a master’s degree in Health Services Administration from the University of Kansas Medical Center (KUMC).

Dorothy has more than 10 years of experience researching, drafting and advancing health care laws at both the state and federal level. During and after college, she worked as a legislative assistant in the U.S. House before moving home to Kansas to pursue health policy work. Over the past decade, she has worked as a fiscal analyst for the nonpartisan Kansas Legislative Research Department and managed government relations for the University of Kansas Medical Center and later The University of Kansas Hospital. Dorothy currently works as a health care consultant and is pursuing her PhD in Health Policy and Management from KUMC.
Outside of work, Dorothy is an active volunteer. She serves as vice chair of the Johnson County Friends of the Library Board and is a member of the Shawnee Mission School District Committee for Excellence. Dorothy is also a graduate of the Civic Council’s Kansas City Tomorrow program and serves as a precinct committeewoman for her Prairie Village neighborhood.

Linda Gallagher, House District 23


Linda has served in the Kansas House of Representatives since 2015. Her district includes parts of Shawnee, Lenexa and Overland Park. She was raised on a farm near Dighton in western Kansas and has lived in Johnson County ever since receiving a journalism degree from the University of Kansas. Her career has been in business journalism, communications and trade association management.

Gallagher and her husband, Mike, have been married for 34 years and have two grown daughters. Volunteering in the community has been a priority for her, including being actively involved in PTA and booster clubs at her daughters’ public schools, as well as serving as a longtime Girl Scout leader and Sunday school teacher. And, she has served seven terms as a Republican precinct committeewoman.

In the Kansas Legislature, Gallagher has been an advocate for children and other vulnerable Kansas citizens – the elderly, the poor, the disabled and the mentally ill. As a member of the House Children and Seniors Committee and the Social Services Budget Committee, she has worked to protect funding for early childhood programs and to preserve various safety net programs. She also serves on the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Budget Committee. Gallagher is working to restore common sense in the Legislature and to help get Kansas back on the path to economic recovery.

Melissa Rooker, House District 25

2t7c1594Representing the 25th District, Kansas State Rep. Melissa Rooker is running for her third term in the Kansas House. She and her husband Tom have been married for almost 30 years and have 2 children, Lindsay and Jack.  Rooker graduated from the University of Kansas with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art History.

Prior to running for office, Rep. Rooker spent 15 years as a development executive at Clint Eastwood’s Malpaso Productions.  She retired in 2001 to raise her children, and in 2004 the family returned to Kansas to provide the quality of life and educational opportunities she and her husband value.

She has been an active member of her community, serving in a variety of leadership positions with local, regional and state PTA in Kansas, and currently serves on the Shawnee Indian Mission Advisory Board and the Kansas Forestry Service Advisory Council.  Rep. Rooker’s committee assignments include Transportation, Transportation & Public Safety Budget, and Vision 2020.

Joy Koesten – House District 28

Dr. Joy Koesten

With a background in business and a doctorate in Communication Studies, Joy is uniquely qualified to represent District 28 and lead the charge to put Kansas back on the right track. Joy and her husband Stewart founded KHC Wealth Management, a successful fee-only financial planning firm, in 1996. Since obtaining her doctorate in Communication Studies, Joy has served on the faculty at Washburn University and the KU Medical Center. She currently teaches at the University of Kansas and Johnson County Community College.

As a founding member of the Greater Kansas City Mental Health Coalition, Joy has long served as an advocate for individuals and families who are challenged with mental health and addiction disorders. She currently serves on the board of Jackson County CASA. After residing in Overland Park for twenty years, Joy and Stewart now reside in Leawood, Kansas. They have two grown daughters, Leah and Natalie, and two grandchildren.

Valdenia Winn, House District 34

winn-1-process-sc192x208-t1439868507Rep. Valdenia Winn has served in the Kansas House of Representatives since 2001.  She represents the 34th House District, which includes northeastern portions of Wyandotte County.

Rep. Winn has worked as a history professor for 36 years at Kansas City Kansas Community College.  She serves on the Kansas City Kansas Downtown Shareholders Board, the Strugglers Hill/Roots Neighborhood Association and the Northeast Cooperative Council.  She also sponsors an after-school computer learning lab for K-12 students.  She and her husband, Keith Vincent Persley, reside in Kansas City.

As a state representative, Rep. Winn has demonstrated commitment to working families, Kansas schoolchildren and small businesses.  She believes lawmakers have a responsibility to increase the state minimum wage to equal federal law.  She has also been highly focused on expanding opportunities for schoolchildren and will continue to support sufficient financing of Kansas public schools.  Additionally, Rep. Winn helped bring STARBONDS funding for economic development projects in Wyandotte County.  She serves on the House Education Committee, the House Health and Human Services Committee, the Joint Committee on Economic Development, and is the Ranking Democrat on the House Education Budget Committee.  Rep. Winn also serves on the Joint Committee on Legislative Educational Planning.

Kathy Wolfe Moore – House District 36

Kathy Wolfe Moore
Kathy has served in the Kansas Legislature since 2011. She serves on the Appropriations, Taxation and General Government Budget committees. She is also on the State Advisory Council on Aging and a Kansas State Director for “Women in Government.” Kathy has been chosen as the Public Official of the Year in 2012 and 2014 by the Kansas Association of Community Centers and was awarded the Legislative Excellence Award by NAMI in 2015.

Kathy is from Kansas City, Kansas, where she has worked as the Business Director at the University of Kansas Hospital for the past 10 years. In her community, Kathy serves as Chairman of the Board for the Wyandotte Economic Development Council, as well as the board of Wyandot Center Community Mental Center. She was recently appointed to the Healthy Communities Wyandotte Board.

Shelee Brim – House District 39

Shelee has called District 39 her home for nearly 20 years. She has worked as a teacher in the De Soto School district for the past 17 years and her husband has been employed as a police officer for 28 years. They have two children and two grandchildren.
After spending the past 32 years as a classroom teacher and retiring at the end of the 2015-2016 school year, Shelee feels that education should be a top priority and that finding a way to fund public schools is one of the major challenges facing the Kansas Legislature. She is concerned that budget cuts are affecting both students and teachers negatively, with teachers spending their own money, writing grants to fund projects, or omitting lessons due to lack of materials.

Debbie Deere, House District 40


I have lived in the 40th District for 28 years with my husband, Kyle.  His family is originally from the Leavenworth/Lansing communities.  He recently retired from Lansing Correctional Facility, after 25 years of employment.  We have 3 adult children who attended Lansing schools, and are proud to have grown up here.   We also have 3 wonderful grandchildren that we enjoy.

I have owned and operated A Deere Place Childcare/Preschool, located in Lansing, since 1993.  This business started in my garage, with a license for 10 children.  It now operates in a large facility, and is licensed for 100 children.  Through the years, I have worked with over 1000 families from our communities.  I greatly appreciate their trust in my program to care for their children.

I have served on the USD 469, Lansing, School Board for 5 years.  I consider it an honor to have been elected by the patrons of our District, and take very seriously the responsibility of making decisions that are in the best interest of our students, teachers, administrators, and community.

I am EXCITED to be your candidate running for the 40th District!  I am confident that my experiences, involvement, and commitment to this community and the state of Kansas, will enable me to MAKE A DIFFERENCE!  I am dedicated to listening to my constituents and being their voice at the State level.  I know that Kansas can be a great place to live, work, go to school, and raise a family!  I will work hard for all of us, to be sure that we get back to a better way of life that we all deserve!

Barbara Ballard, House District 44


Rep. Barbara Ballard was elected to the Kansas House of Representatives in 1992.  She represents the 44th House District, covering most of western Lawrence.

Rep. Ballard has lived in Lawrence for over 30 years with her husband, Albert.  They have one son and two grandchildren.  She currently works as the Associate Director of the Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas.  Before she served in this capacity, Rep. Ballard worked as the Assistant Vice-Chancellor for Student Affairs.

Within the Lawrence community, Rep. Ballard serves on the Board of Directors at the Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center and Cottonwood, Inc.  She and her husband attend Plymouth Congressional Church, where she participates in the Chancel Choir.  In the past, Ballard has also served on the board of directors of the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce and was a member of Rotary International.  She also served eight years as the first black woman on the Lawrence Public School Board and was elected Board President twice.

As a state legislator, Rep. Ballard is active on the House Appropriations Committee.  She also serves on the House Committees on Social Services Budget.  Rep. Ballard was the first black member elected to the House Leadership team and has served as Democratic Caucus Chair for over 10 years.

Nationally, Rep. Ballard has been extremely active in the National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL), a policy organization committed to advancing the welfare of African Americans.  She currently serves as the Vice President of the NBCSL Executive Committee and has also served as a State Regional Chair and Vice-chair.  Rep. Ballard was recognized in 2007 as the organization’s Outstanding Legislator of the Year.

Adrienne Olejnik, House District 51


Raised in Kansas, Adrienne Olejnik understands the values important to working Kansas families. Adrienne grew up in Topeka and attended Washburn University where she earned a Bachelor’s of Business Administration in Finance and Management.

Adrienne now lives in Rossville where she serves on the Rossville City Council and works as the Director of the Rossville Community Library. During her six-year tenure at the Rossville Library, circulation doubled and the library became a vibrant community center providing essential services for the Rossville area.

Outside of work, Adrienne is equally committed to her community by serving on the Rossville Community Foundation Board, the Shawnee County Extension Program Development Committee, and as Planning Co-Chair of Leadership Greater Topeka. In August, she was selected as one of the 2016 Topeka’s Top 20 Under 40, an award sponsored by the Jayhawk Area Council.

Adrienne and her husband, Neil, live in Rossville with their two daughters, Grace, who is in 2nd grade, and Reese, who is four. Neil works as an electrician out of IBEW 226 for DL Smith Electrical, a full service electrical service and construction company.

Renae Hansen, House District 54

Renae is committed to ensuring all Kansas children receive the 21st century education they deserve. She will work hard everyday to provide resources, support teachers, and protect learning opportunities at all levels (Pre-K through post-secondary and technical education).

“The key to our bright future in Kansas is our commitment to investing in public education.  I want to provide our children with opportunities here in Kansas, and that means strengthening our public schools, not weakening them as we’ve seen the last several years.”

Sydney Carlin, House District 66

Sydney Carlin was born in Wichita, Kansas. Her father John Naughton was employed at Boeing. She had two older brothers, Gary Naughton and Kenneth (Kip) Naughton. When she was about two years old the family moved to the farm her maternal Great Grandmother had purchased from the government before statehood. Her paternal grandparents had homesteaded in the Burlington, Kansas, area before statehood, as well. All were farmers. When Sydney was seven years old her family welcomed twins, John Thomas and Tamara Jeanne.  Life changed.

Sydney attended Big Creek School located about ½ mile from her home. Her family belonged to the Big Creek Methodist Church where she was Sunday School Secretary. Her mother was the liturgical leader and dad, John, was on the church board and the school board.  Sydney joined 4-H at the age of 8 and her projects included sewing, gardening, cooking, animals (sheep), square dancing and photography.  She enjoys most of these things today.

In High School she played saxophone and was a twirler in the band. She was the Editor of the Student Monitor newspaper and a member of Student Council. She was selected to attend a 4-H Leadership Camp at KSU and fell in love with the University, the City of Manhattan and the beautiful Flint Hills. She attended Neosho County Community College where she was also involved in cheerleading and student government.

In 1972, after a failed marriage, she brought her two children, Blaine and Becce, to Manhattan. Her sister Tami and brother-in-law Tom Hawk encouraged her to move and helped her to find work as Office Manager of the Manhattan Country Club. Her brother Gary and his family also lived in Manhattan where he worked at the Kansas State Forestry Department.

In 1975 Sydney married John Edward Carlin, not the Governor. They became the parents of two more children, Ryan and Mike. They were active in PTO and City Recreation sports and American Legion baseball, enjoying working with the children’s teams.

In 1988, when the County wanted to build a new jail across the street from the Manhattan Catholic School Sydney was PTO president. Believing that it was irresponsible to build a 60,000 square foot jail in such close proximity to a neighborhood, school, and church, the Carlins and several other families formed the Jail CORP (Citizens Organized for Responsible Placement) of the jail. That was the beginning of her political leadership.

Sydney decided to run for the County Commission in 1992. Being a real novice, she lost in the primary. A few months later she ran for City Commission and won a four year term and a year as Mayor.  As a city commissioner she worked to develop new plans for the Law Enforcement Facility, twelve years after Jail CORP was formed she helped cut the ribbon on a new law enforcement facility in a new – more satisfactory – location. Sydney focused on making things better for people in Manhattan. She worked with the state on streets and highways in Manhattan including Allen Road, Anderson Avenue widening and Seth Childs Road expansion.  She also negotiated for the purchase of land for a competition youth baseball field at Eisenhower Middle School and the Technology Park at the airport. She worked to expand Manhattan Public Library, and the Airport, always being sure that the citizens of the community were heard and protected from harm in the processes. She worked to create a Youth Advisory Board and eventually the Boys & Girls Club.

After serving as Mayor in 1996-1997, she ran for State Representative, losing to incumbent Jeff Peterson. Two days after the election Sydney enrolled at Kansas State University and completed her Bachelors Degree in 2000.  Looking for something meaning full to do, John and Sydney purchased a 1970’s home and Sydney was the General Contractor on the major rehabilitation two year project.

She is a member of the Seven Dolors Catholic Church, The Martin Luther King Committee, Daughters of the American Revolution, Daughters of the American Colonists, PEO, Konza Prairie Quilters Guild, American Association of University Women and a co-founder of the Manhattan Women 4 Kansas.

She ran for State Representative again in 2002 and was elected in the 66thDistrict. She has offered over a dozen bills which have become law including: the False Claims Against the State Act; Restrictions on the use of Eminent Domain for Economic Development; Insurance Coverage for Autism Therapy; Opportunities to Freeze Credit Reports for Minors; Military Education/Tuition bills; and this year’s Revenge Pornography bill.

Sydney is concerned about her neighbors and her community and works to promote and protect it in the state of Kansas. She believes in: Public Education; Higher Education and MATC; Safe Communities; Jobs and Economic Growth; Private Property Rights; and Broad-based Tax Policy.

Jo Schwartz, House District 70


Jo and her husband, Tom, have lived in Abilene, Kansas for 36 years and they are the parents of 3 adult daughters. As a small business owner, Jo understands the value of hard work and the importance of fiscal responsibility that she will bring to the Kansas Legislature.

She started her business, Burning Tree Art, 10 years ago and operated an Art Gallery featuring her Pyrography for the past 5 years.  Having a strong sense of public service, Jo has served in many capacities with the local and international Kiwanis organization which is dedicated to improving the lives of children.  She has served as President of the local club and was elected for 2 terms as Lt. Governor for the Division. Since Jo began working at age 15, the various jobs have always been about service to others.  She continues to be a strong volunteer in her community.

Jo is running for office because she believes the people of Kansas need representatives that are willing to stand up and be their voice. A person who will listen and represent them, not special interest groups. She will work diligently to find solutions that will benefit all Kansans.

Diana Dierks, House District 71


Date of Birth: January 13, 1944 Sacramento, California

Education: Associate Degree Business/Marketing Butler County Community College – Friends University Business – Council of Residential Specialists Designation – Graduate of the Real Estate Institute – Kansas Leadership Academy.

Family: Married, Husband  Heinz Dierks, four children – ten grandchildren –  eight  great grandchildren

Occupation:   International Marketing Director for three trade publications involving oil and gas.

Real Estate Broker: I have enjoyed being a Realtor in Salina. It brings me great pleasure having been part of providing  an opportunity for clients to own their own home.

It has been an honor to have represented the constituents of the Kansas House of Representatives of the 71st District.  Advocating for the education of our children. Keeping  watch that our Veterans have much need services provided. Supporting Agribusiness – One of the most important industries in Kansas.

Teresa Briggs, House District 76


My husband, Francis, and I moved our family to Emporia in 1990 when we purchased the Wendy’s franchise. Francis passed away in 2005. I was elected Lyon County Commissioner in 2009, and served until 2013.

I am a graduate of Leadership Emporia, have volunteered for Hand in Hand Hospice and have served on numerous boards, including Flint Hills Technical College, ECKAN, and Kansas Children’s Service League. I am currently President of the Board of Directors of the Flint Hills Community Health Center. I am re-married and live on a farm in Osage County with my husband, John. Our blended family consists of 4 adult children, 6 grandchildren and 10 dogs.

Anita Judd-Jenkins, House District 80


Raised and educated in Kirksville, MO, Northeast Missouri University (now Truman University). Moved to Arkansas City in 1976. Widowed in 1981, married Ronnie Jenkins in 1990. One married son, 3 grandsons.

1977-1985: Montgomery Ward Store Manager

1985-1987: John Morrell Processed Meats National Product Sales Manager

1987-2013 (retired): Home National Bank (sold to RCB Bank) Marketing Director, Heritage Club Director

Community involvement – Rotary past president, Soroptimists, Chamber of Commerce, Arkansas City Boards (Transportation, Library, Historical, Tourism), Heritage Club International Advisory Board, Twin Rivers Developmental Services Board of Directors, Junior Service League, 1st Presbyterian Church Deacon. Volunteered for Red Cross,

Meals on Wheels, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Ark City Arts Festival chair, Arkalalah Festival.

Danette Harris, House District 82


Danette Harris was born in Fairbanks, Alaska, where her father was stationed at Eielson Air Force Base. She moved multiple times throughout her childhood following her father’s career in the Air Force, eventually settling in Wichita in 1982. She currently lives in Mulvane.

Danette is a decorated combat veteran with two deployments to Iraq. She served the first 15 years of her military career in the Kansas Army National Guard and was selected to command the largest and most complex company in the state. After three years in command, Danette was recognized for significantly improving the operational readiness of her company from the bottom 1/3 to number one in the nation. She is currently a Captain and  recently transferred to the Army Reserves, where she trains Soldiers in Mission Command and the Military Decision Making Process. A few of Danette’s  many awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal (2nd award), Kansas National Guard Commendation Medal, Kansas National Guard Achievement Medal, California Counterdrug Task Force Medal and Combat Action Badge.
In addition to serving her state and her country, Danette has also served her community. She has volunteered her time as an EMT and participates in fundraising events for Heartsprings Pediatric Services, The American Diabetes Association, The Alzheimer’s Association and the American Legion. Danette graduated from Wichita State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Exercise Science and a Doctor of Physical Therapy. She has two daughters and three grandchildren.

Patty Beamer, House District 85

Patty Beamer grew up in Kansas graduating from Pratt High School and Wichita State University (WSU). Patty was commissioned as a Naval Officer on the same day she graduated from WSU with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing in 1992. After serving 20 years in the military, Patty retired to Wichita. After completing her Masters of Science in Nursing as an Advanced Practice Nurse Practitioner with a focus in Psychiatric/Mental Health, she began teaching nursing students at WSU in August of 2012.

Patty chose to exercise her right as a citizen and place her name on the ballot for State Legislature in District 85 after health care program funding was decreased for three years leaving a majority of Kansans without options for physical and mental healthcare.

As a nurse, Patty understands that when wellness and holistic care for children and families are not available, the results are dramatic for patients seeking care and overwhelming for those that provide the care. In addition, as an instructor of higher education, Patty is well aware of the burden of tuition for college students and parents. She understands that while there may be plenty of students who want to attend college, cuts in state aid and increased cost of tuition may keep the seats in the classroom empty.

Although Patty is new to politics, she has worked with people of varied backgrounds and ideals. Patty brings a new voice and fresh ideas to Topeka and is grateful for the endorsement of Kansas Advancing Women.

Tonya Howard, House District 87


I am a middle school teacher of 19 years and have always been a member of the teacher’s union.  I’m the mother of three beautiful kids who, unfortunately, seem to be growing up much too quickly.  On my free time, I enjoy traveling, reading biographies, and visiting museums and historical sites.


Elizabeth Bishop, House District 88


Elizabeth Bishop has lived in Kansas for 52 years and in Wichita for more than 30 years. She has a degree from Wichita State University and completed many hours toward a master’s degree in public administration, with classes both at WSU and KU.

Prior to retirement, Elizabeth worked primarily in government service. She served as an aide to Congressman Dan Glickman, as assistant director of the Sedgwick County Department on Aging, and on the staff of a former Wichita city manager. Elizabeth also worked for two years as executive director of Wichita Independent Neighborhoods.

Elizabeth’s goal is to bring more balance to policy making in Topeka. She will work to give voice to the concerns of the voters in the 88th District, while communicating with citizens regarding actions taking place in Topeka.

Deb Shepard, House District 93

d-shepardDeb Shepard was born and raised in Wichita, attended public schools and graduated from Wichita State University with a degree in Business Administration. For more than 30 years, she has made Clearwater her home where she raised her two sons.

She spent her career working in business, labor and government. A believer in public service, Deb has spent her life helping people solve problems, volunteering and working with others to improve their quality of life. She was appointed to the KansasWorks State Board by Governor Parkinson where she has served since January, 2010. Over the years Deb served on local committees; was a charter member of the Clearwater Chamber of Commerce; volunteered at her children’s schools; taught Sunday school and served on church committees; organized fellow employees to adopt families at Christmas; organized drives to send care packages to troops serving overseas; served on the Board of Directors for the Wichita Veterans Day Parade; and now she running for the 93rd district of the Kansas House of Representatives where she plans to serve the citizens of Kansas in the state legislature.

Deb is running for office because she supports public schools and believes our children deserve the best education we can give them. The threat of closing our schools due to revenue loss caused by Governor Brownback’s failed income tax policies, including exempting 330,000 tax payers who pay no income tax at all is inexcusable. Our healthcare system is in distress, schools are not being funded and our state is in financial crisis. No one can look at what is going on and not see that it is wrong. We have got to fix the problem by making a change in the state legislature.   Deb’s opponent has been part of the problem, time is critical and she is ready to make a change.

Susan Osborne, District 94

img_0166Susan K Osborne made the decision to run for office because she felt it was time to stand up for Kansas.  She is retired after a successful career as a college professor of business (Wichita State University, Newman University, and Friends University), state director of the Kansas Small Business Development Centers, and business owner.  She served 10 years on the Metropolitan Area Planning Commission.  Just prior to her retirement, she worked part-time as Catholic Charities Wichita Community Liaison, where she learned firsthand the plight of the poor and marginalized.

She is busy knocking on doors in her district, listening to concerns, and speaking out about the need to reprioritize public education and respect for teachers in Kansas, the need to restore fiscal responsibility and equitable taxes to stop the “bankrupting” of Kansas, and the need to expand jobs and opportunities (which includes expanding Medicaid and saving community hospitals).  She is married and enjoys spending time with her family, which includes a married daughter and two grandchildren.  She is active in her church and with the Wichita Historical Museum.  She is a member of Women in Kansas, South Side Democratic Club, and Sedgwick County Democratic Women.  She has been endorsed by the KNEA, the United Teachers of Wichita, Kansas Families for Education, the AFL-CIO, and the Sierra Club.

Patsy Terrell, House District 102

unnamedPatsy Terrell is seeking the seat in the 102nd district, which encompasses the southern part of Hutchinson. She has lived in the heart of the district for more than 30 years.

Patsy is interested in quality schools, an independent judiciary, Medicaid expansion and fair taxation. She wants common sense and transparency in government. This is her first race.

Her background is in broadcasting, journalism, public relations, and running a small non-profit devoted to mental health advocacy. She is currently self-employed as a writer, social media facilitator, and public relations professional.

Cammie Funston, House District 105

Cammie Funston is a life-long Kansan living in northwest Wichita with her husband, Ned Lakin. She has just retired after 21 years with Wichita Public Schools. Ned works for Starkey, Inc. They share seven children and twelve grandchildren. Cammie enjoys working with youth and treasure hunting at thrift stores. In addition to being an educator, Cammie was a Community Organizer for Project Freedom and the Director of Community Ministries for Inter-Faith Ministries. She is a member of NAMI, the ARC of Sedgwick County, Restore Kansas, and ACT. She serves on the Starkey Advisory Council Executive Committee and has volunteered for Special Olympics and Global Faith in Action. Cammie holds a Bachelor of Science in Human Resources Management from Friends University and a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Wichita State University.

Kelley Menke, House District 108


Kelley Menke, Lindsborg, will challenge Republican Steven Johnson in the 108th House District in Ellsworth, Saline, Rice and McPherson counties.

“I could no longer stand by and watch this once great state thrust into continuing economic calamity created solely by the irresponsible decisions of Rep. Johnson and Gov. Brownback. The thought that my son might not be able to begin his senior year in high school on time because the legislature continues to shirk their responsibility to equally fund schools, prompted me to run, “ said Menke.

Menke, lives in Lindsborg with her husband Royce and children, Trevor and Jackson. She holds a bachelor of arts degree in communications and education, and a masters in Theology from SMU. Menke currently serves on the Lindsborg city council and works in the local schools and small business.

“This decision was heartfelt and important to me, and with your help in November we can start making a difference together. Kansas’ future is too important to remain the victim of Gov. Brownback’s and Rep. Johnson’s economic experiment that has ravaged the state.”

Jolene Roitman, House District 116


Jo is a native Kansan, who grew up on a farm near Corbin with her seven brothers and sisters.  Jo’s husband, Rick, is a retired career Naval officer.  Their three grown children have blessed them with five grandchildren.

With each of Rick’s naval postings, Jo had the opportunity to work for educational organizations across the country including the National Association of Secondary School Principals, Williamsburg-James City County Public Schools, the National Collegiate Athletic Association, Blue Valley Schools and Wellington USD 353.
Jo is a member of the Caldwell Historical Society and the Corbin United Methodist Church.  She recently returned from a Mission Trip to Zimbabwe, Africa where she did mission work for the Old Mutare Mission.

Bonita Peterson, House District 121


Bo was born and raised in Colorado and came to Kansas 13 years ago. Bo shares a home in Ludell with her mother and pets. She owns a small painting company providing a much needed service to the local area.

What she lacks in formal education is made up for with a masters degree from the school of hard knocks. Bo raised two children alone with no child support and no public assistance, giving her a unique insight into the life of the average citizen. She spent many years working in road construction before starting her painting company. Bo has developed excellent problem solving skills throughout the years.

Bo was the Chair of the Rawlins County Democratic party and a first round Bernie Delegate. She stays well informed on local and national issues and is passionate about serving others. As a business owner and single woman with grown children, she is in a position to give her job as House Representative all of her time and focus.

Bo is not a politician, she is a blue collar worker with decades of life experience. She is perfectly in touch with the lives of the average citizen and understands their day to day lives in a way the average politician never could.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • Google Plus