We knew August 2nd would be a critical benchmark day, and there are several important things to take away from it as we go forward. Obviously, this was one huge step toward returning Kansas to times of balance and sound decisions—under the consensus-building leadership of both Republicans and Democrats. Now the focus turns toward the November 8th General Election, where this coalition has the opportunity to build on the gains made in the Primary. With that in mind, now is an important time to mention that our friends with the Kansas Chamber of Commerce (etc.) and their wealthy backers will have had their reality check and will likely return—with more money and more misleading attempts to convince you that their experiment is working and “the sun is still shining in Kansas.” Fortunately, we now have proof that Kansas voters know better, but this makes the effort to continue reaching out and educating our fellow citizens even more important. It will be incumbent upon all the backers of quality candidates and real solutions to our challenges to double down and make the most of every campaign day. We have witnessed some dark days throughout the past few years, but with the help of many committed Kansans, the light of a new day can shine brightly all across our state.
The key contests in November will depend much more on the success of Democratic candidates in uniting people from across the political spectrum around this vision for a better future. In these races, there is a real opportunity to bring together the rational conservative voters, who value fiscal responsibility and support wise investments in our future, with Democratic and Independent voters, to reject the failed policies of the past, look beyond party labels, and bring change on behalf of the people of Kansas—not just the monied interests that got us where we are today in the first place. The quality of the candidates is certainly there, and I've been very impressed with their passion and commitment. The rest is up to us, the voters, to stay engaged and get involved.
For me, Tuesday’s results are a reflection of citizen concern about all the harmful decisions that have been coming from Topeka and, most importantly, a realization that concerned folks needed to do more than just complain. I see it reflected as well in the armies of grassroots support that many sound, moderate candidates have been able to assemble. The unified concern for restoring our constitutional commitment to public education, sustainably addressing the fiscal crisis, maintaining our infrastructure, securing the role of an independent judiciary, and rising to meet our many other challenges has been truly inspirational. Now, we just need more Kansans to join this cause. And, once again, I urge readers who are ready for a change of course to share this message and/or actively seek opportunities to prepare your friends and neighbors to vote for a continuation of the momentum we established in the Primary. What we do between now and November will decide the future of our state.