On the Democratic side, we choose State Senator Laura Kelly based on her 100% pro‑LGBT voting record, her advocacy for LGBT equality in legislative committees, on the Senate floor, and in her current campaign. Senator Kelly was first elected in November of 2004. Within four days of the Legislature convening in January 2005, she was faced with a vote on the same‑sex marriage ban. Despite enormous political pressure on the newly elected senator, Kelly voted against the ban. Her support for LGBT rights has been consistent. Her running mate, Senator Lynn Rogers, has in his two years as senator been a strong advocate for LGBT equality, leading the hours-long debate in opposition to this year’s adoption discrimination bill. While a member of the USD 259 Wichita Board of Education, Rogers moved the adoption of district policies adding sexual orientation as a protected class. The Kelly/Rogers campaign scored 100% on our 2018 questionnaire.
Although the Carl Brewer and Joshua Svaty campaigns both achieved 100% scores on their questionnaires and have been vocal advocates for LGBT equality on the campaign trail, their record while previously in public office is absent or mixed. Brewer, while mayor of Wichita, was twice approached by the Equality Kansas Wichita chapter with a request to pass a non‑discrimination ordinance inclusive of sexual orientation and gender identity. The first approach, in 2010, was made privately. In 2012, chapter leadership made a public presentation to Mayor Brewer and the Wichita City Council. Brewer did not act on either request, telling local media in 2012 he believed Wichita didn’t need such an ordinance. Joshua Svaty has a mixed voting record on LGBT issues. In March 2004, then‑State Representative Svaty voted in favor of the same‑sex marriage ban; in May of that year, he voted against a similar bill that, while banning same‑sex marriage, would have given legal recognition to civil unions. In 2005, he voted against the version of the marriage ban that eventually became part of the Kansas constitution. Other Democratic candidates for governor submitted questionnaires but lack a public record, and were not considered for endorsement.