For Immediate Release
May 3, 2018
EMILY’s List Endorses Laura Kelly for Governor of Kansas
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today EMILY’s List, the nation’s largest resource for women in politics, endorsed Laura Kelly for governor of Kansas. Stephanie Schriock, president of EMILY’s List, released the following statement: “Laura Kelly is the candidate Kansans need as Governor to revive economic opportunity for working families. Laura has been a vocal opponent of the disastrous Brownback tax plan that left public schools, health care, and infrastructure severely underfunded. As the next governor, Laura will prioritize investing in kids and families to ensure all Kansans have the opportunity to succeed.
“Laura is likely to face off against one of two out of touch Republican candidates: incumbent Jeff Colyer, who worked as Governor Brownback’s partner in decimating the state’s budget, or secretary of state Kris Kobach, who has developed a national reputation for going to unconstitutional lengths to deny voting rights. Laura plans to be the leader Kansans can count on to fight for them and their priorities – like good jobs and excellent schools. Women remain underrepresented in powerful executive leadership positions in the state, and with only two Democratic women governors in the country, this is an opportunity the EMILY’s List community can’t pass up. We look forward to fully supporting Laura’s campaign.”
EMILY’s List, the nation’s largest resource for women in politics, has raised over $500 million to support pro-choice Democratic women candidates – making them one of the most successful political organizations ever. Our grassroots community of over five million members helps Democratic women wage competitive campaigns – and win. We recruit and train candidates, support strong campaigns, research the issues that impact women and families, and turn out women voters. Since our founding in 1985, we have helped elect 116 women to the House, 23 to the Senate, 12 governors, and over 800 to state and local office. Forty percent of the candidates EMILY’s List has helped elect to Congress have been women of color. Since the 2016 election, thousands of women and counting have reached out to us about running for office. To harness this energy, EMILY’s List has launched Run to Win, an unprecedented effort to get more women to run at the local, state, and national levels.
An experienced leader fighting for Kansans
Laura Kelly is an experienced leader and public servant who has dedicated her career to fighting for Kansas kids and families. Growing up in a military family, Laura was taught the importance of serving her community at a young age. She served as the executive director of the Kansas Recreation and Park Association for over a decade, advocating for public parks across the state. In this role, she also sought to make communities healthier by improving the state’s recreation services. Before that, she worked with troubled teens, providing mental health services and recreational therapy to patients in need. Laura was elected to the Kansas state Senate in 2004 and has been a leader on issues dealing with the state budget, public schools, early childhood programs, health care, and more. Laura lives with her husband in Topeka and has two grown daughters.
A champion for Sunflower State working families
Laura is running for governor to help Kansas families recover from the disastrous Brownback tax plan that has destroyed the state’s economy. Even before the tax plan, Laura spent her time in the state Senate fighting for funding for health care, roads, early childhood programs and public schools. “From my very first legislative session, I’ve been on the front lines of the fight to get more resources into public school classrooms,” she has said. In 2017, the Kansas Supreme Court declared that the state’s schools are severely underfunded, and the GOP-led legislature has been scrambling to pass a plan that adequately funds them. “We’ve gone from adequately funding our schools to short-changing them, and we’ve seen the impact those cuts have had on our families,” Laura has said. “We need to adequately fund our schools and invest in our children.” As governor, Laura will fight to expand economic opportunity for Kansans who have been left behind by Brownback’s tax cuts for the wealthy. “I have witnessed firsthand the problems that were created by the Brownback tax experiment,” she has said. “I know where the problems are, and I would like to get to work in the governor’s office to fix them.”
An opportunity to flip the governorship
In running for governor, Laura is likely to face off against one of two Republican candidates in the general election: incumbent Jeff Colyer, who took office after Sam Brownback was appointed to the Trump administration and had worked as Brownback’s lieutenant governor supporting his failed tax plan, or Kansas secretary of state Kris Kobach, who has developed a national reputation for going to unconstitutional lengths to deny voting rights. “I simply cannot sit by and let the same Brownback allies who mismanaged our state lead Kansas for another four years,” Laura has said. “For too long, Kansans have been without a champion in the governor’s office — someone who will fight for them and their priorities.” Laura plans on being the leader that Kansans can count on to fight for them and their priorities. Women remain underrepresented in powerful executive leadership positions in the state, and with only two Democratic women governors in the country, this is an opportunity the EMILY’s List community can’t pass up. Let’s show Laura the full support of the EMILY’s List community and flip this seat for Kansas working families.