News Briefs

Johnson County Democrat running for Kansas secretary of state

By: - May 17, 2022 3:35 pm
Jeanna Repass, of Overland Park, is seeking the Democratic Party's nomination for secretary of state. She asserted Secretary of State Scott Schwab and former Secretary of State Kris Kobach politicized the office. (Kansas Reflector screen capture from Repass campaign photograph)

Jeanna Repass, of Overland Park, is seeking the Democratic Party’s nomination for secretary of state. She asserted Secretary of State Scott Schwab and former Secretary of State Kris Kobach politicized the office. (Kansas Reflector screen capture from Repass campaign photograph)

TOPEKA — Overland Park resident Jeanna Repass stood Tuesday in front of the Brown v. Board of Education mural at the Kansas Capitol to launch a campaign for the Democratic nomination for secretary of state.

Repass said her campaign was inspired by the heavy partisanship of Secretary of State Scott Schwab and his predecessor, Kris Kobach, both Republicans. Kobach held the job of secretary of state for two terms ending in 2019, when replaced by Schwab.

“He is now backing bills that further limit Kansans’ access to the polls. Enough is enough,” Repass said. “It’s time to take an office that has been thoroughly politicized by Scott Schwab and Kris Kobach back to serving the  people of Kansas.”

She said she would restore public confidence in a state’s election system, the voting process and ballot access.

“Voting is not a partisan tactic to be leveraged to divide us. Voting is an American right that should unite us all,” Repass said.

Repass said her mother was a civil rights activist and her father a veteran of the Vietnam war who worked in law enforcement after his military career.

She made her campaign announcement on the anniversary of the 1959 U.S. Supreme Court ruling declaring “separate but equal” public schools to be a violation of the U.S. Constitution.

“My love of our country was instilled in me by my parents and the right to legally vote and the laws that uphold that right will be enforced by me as the Kansas secretary  of state. I will not be swayed by partisanship or gamesmanship by any political party or opportunistic politicians,” she said.

Schwab is seeking the Republican Party’s nomination for a second term as secretary of state. He is being challenged in the GOP primary in August by Mike Brown, a former member of the Johnson County Commission.

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Tim Carpenter
Tim Carpenter

Tim Carpenter has reported on Kansas for 35 years. He covered the Capitol for 16 years at the Topeka Capital-Journal and previously worked for the Lawrence Journal-World and United Press International. He has been recognized for investigative reporting on Kansas government and politics. He won the Kansas Press Association's Victor Murdock Award six times. The William Allen White Foundation honored him four times with its Burton Marvin News Enterprise Award. The Kansas City Press Club twice presented him its Journalist of the Year Award and more recently its Lifetime Achievement Award. He earned an agriculture degree at Kansas State University and grew up on a small dairy and beef cattle farm in Missouri. He is an amateur woodworker and drives Studebaker cars.

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