New maps lead to rush of candidates filing to run

From KSN on June 11, 2012

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSN) — A long anticipated showdown between moderates and conservatives for control of the state senate is starting to take shape after a delayed district map turned state politics on it’s head.

Wichita moderates Jean Schodorf and Carol McGinn will face challengers in the August GOP primaries.  Conservative businessman Gary Mason has moved to Park City to challenge McGinn in her new district.

Rep. Brenda Landwehr had hoped to challenge Schodorf but her home was drawn out of Schodorf’s new district.  Conservatives tapped Wichita City Council newcomer Michael O’Donnell to run in the primary in Landwehr’s place.

“When the districts were reconfigured by the courts Thursday night, it sent the political world into a whirlwind,” said O’Donnell.  “Brenda was moved out of Jean’s district so they had to find a strong challenger for the senate district.”

Instead of moving on to the senate, Landwehr will have to battle a Democrat incumbent just to keep her house seat.  Rep. Nile Dillmore was drawn into the same district as Landwehr.  It’s one of 25 house districts and 4 senate districts that now have two incumbent office holders after the new map was drawn.

Calls to Landwehr for comment were not returned.

Democrat Brandon Whipple was one of the candidates crammed into the statehouse Monday morning registering to run before the noon deadline.

“I think everyone agrees it’s chaotic, everyone agrees it’s hectic,” said Whipple.  “Normally it takes six months to a year to recruit candidates.”

Whipple is running for a seat in one of the 25 districts in the house where no incumbent is currently serving.

In spite of the delayed district map, primaries in Kansas were not postponed.  They’re scheduled for August 7.

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