Kansans for Life’s endorsed candidates won handily: In the House, 74% (31 of 42 races) and in the Senate, 77% (24 of 31 races).
These elections were characterized as a referendum on pro-life Gov. Sam Brownback’s conservative agenda, with the media repeatedly identifying economic conservative groups as major players. But the GOP rout depended on the candidates’ pro-life credentials and is a reflection of Kansas pro-life persistence, hard work and prayer.
KFL executive director Mary Kay Culp explained: “This continued pattern of electing pro-life legislators is inspired by more than a decade of frustration with the failure to prosecute fraudulent late-term abortions, the Senate resistance to toughening abortion laws, the shameless shredding of evidence of criminal abortion by the Sebelius administration, and the failure of the Senate to throw out the worst state judicial process in the nation, as we watch newly-passed pro-life bills sit in court or head to our extremely liberal state Supreme Court.”
The Senate results were truly stunning: eight ‘moderate’ GOP Senators, including the Kansas Senate President, Steve Morris (with a huge war chest) all lost their primaries Tuesday to authentically pro-life challengers endorsed and promoted by the Kansans for Life political action committee. In addition to Morris, the exiting Senators are: Pete Brungardt (Salina), Bob Marshall (Fort Scott), Tim Owens (Overland Park), Roger Reitz (Manhattan), Jean Schodorf (Wichita), Ruth Teichman (Stafford) and Dwayne Umbarger (Thayer).
Senate President Morris came into his leadership position with a pro-life record, but then betrayed it by rigging Senate committees with pro-abortion majorities and working behind the scenes to hurt pro-life bills! But due to the pro-life routing of ‘moderates’, there is a real possibility that after the November elections, as many as 32 out of 40 Kansas Senate seats could be filled by trusted pro-lifers!
While seven of KFL-endorsed Senate candidates were defeated, in three of those contests, the successful challengers are also pro-life! In fact, the problem KFL faced this cycle was a never-before last minute reconfiguring of legislative districts in June by federal judges. This caused some districts to have two, or even three, proven pro-life incumbent legislators competing with each other. This problem also stemmed from Morris and his ‘moderate’ GOP associates; they pushed unfair redistricting maps until the legislative session ran out of time and the feds had to do the job—giving us the distinction of being the only state in the nation to fail to fix their maps to reflect census changes (read more here).
By the end of Tuesday evening, only two pro-abortion-voting GOP ‘moderate’ Senators survived KFL candidate challenges: Jay Emler (Lindsborg) and Vicki Schmidt (Topeka).
The retention of Schmidt by only 159 votes is particularly disheartening, as her challenger was Joe Patton, a pro-life champion, three-term state representative, and one of the founders of Kansans for Life. State election reports last week showed Schmidt spent over $200,000 where Patton had spent approximately $60,000 in the same reporting period. The race was not only the most expensive in Kansas electoral history, nasty ads supporting Schmidt were acknowledged by the Topeka newspaper to contain “easily disproved” smears against Patton.
According to the Wichita Eagle, Sen. Carolyn McGinn acknowledged the loss of fellow GOP ‘moderates’ in the Senate: “Wow,” she said. “What kind of life is that going to be?”
Kansans for Life’s answer to that question is: “It will be wonderful!”