In 2010, the Capitol in Topeka was abuzz with 125 representatives and 40 senators eager to take on the state’s political challenges. This 165-person group included Sen. Laura Kelly, now the governor, and Sen. Jeff Colyer, who made it to the governor’s office a step ahead of her.
Another half-dozen or so individuals moved on by climbing the political ladder, but they were the tip of the iceberg in terms of the decade of legislative exodus. Ten years later, only eight senators and 14 representatives still hold those elected positions.
Political scientists Bob Beatty, of Washburn University, and Michael Smith, of Emporia State University, examine legislative turnover in Kansas and weigh in on a few other political issues — including critical race theory.