News Briefs

Senate candidate rejects GOP mailers distorting her votes on police budget

By: - October 26, 2020 1:24 pm
Democratic state Senate candidate Lindsey Constance, left, at an event with Sen. Dinah Sykes, a Lenexa Democrat, denounced as false GOP claims she sought to deflate funding for police while on the Shawnee City Council. (Submitted)

Democratic state Senate candidate Lindsey Constance, left, at an event with Sen. Dinah Sykes, a Lenexa Democrat, denounced as false GOP claims she sought to deflate funding for police while on the Shawnee City Council. (Submitted)

TOPEKA — Kansas Senate candidate Lindsey Constance recommended Monday that her Republican opponent reject campaign mailers that incorrectly accuse her of supporting calls to diminish public spending on law enforcement.

Constance, a Democrat and a member of the Shawnee City Council, is campaigning against Shawnee Sen. Mike Thompson, who was appointed to the District 10 seat in early 2020. He replaced retired Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook, a Republican.

She pointed to her record of voting for spending on the Shawnee Police Department and her endorsement by former police chief Rob Moser.

Rob Moser, retired chief of the Shawnee, Kansas, police department, says he wasn't aware of facts support GOP claims that Democratic state Senate candidate Lindsey Constance worked to reduce law enforcement funding. (Submitted)
Rob Moser, retired chief of the Shawnee police department, says he knew of no evidence supporting GOP claims Democratic state Senate candidate Lindsey Constance worked to reduce law enforcement funding. (Submitted)

“The fact is, I do fully fund the police,” said Constance, a teacher in the Shawnee Mission district. “I have voted to fully fund the Shawnee Police Department at every opportunity on city council. I have been a strong advocate on the council for funding of mental health co-responders and community outreach officers.”

The Kansas Republican Party has dropped mailers into the district highlighting her decision to signed a campaign pledge with Future Now. It’s a Democrat-leaning organization which asked candidates to work on achieving six goals and 21 targets by 2030.

The pledge didn’t mention defunding police agencies, but suggested candidates identify “evidence-based ways to generate savings and increase public safety.”

Moser, who retired last year as Shawnee’s police chief, said Constance studied the city’s law enforcement programs and responsibibly voted to fund those activities.

“From my perspective as a former chief of police,” he said, “Lindsey supported law enforcement with no indication of an intent to defund.”

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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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