Lawmakers must listen to their voters

By

Opinion

January 28, 2019 - 10:09 AM

Kansans chose divided government in 2018, electing a Democratic governor and a conservative-tilting Republican legislature. The facts: 57 percent of Kansas voters did not support Kris Kobach. And many Republicans in the legislature, including some noted conservatives, represent districts where most voters supported Laura Kelly. These Republicans who find themselves caught between their voters and their own politics offer a great test of how representative democracy works in Kansas.

Let’s look at some numbers. The Kansas House has 125 districts. Of those, Kelly won 65 districts and Kobach won 60. Of 40 Senate districts, Kelly won 21 and Kobach won 19. Independent Greg Orman won no districts.

Democrats have it easy here. Every Democrat in the legislature represents a district that Kelly won. That means they can support her agenda and generally represent the desires that their voters expressed last November.

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