Daily Archives: Oct. 9, 2009

Democratic state senator to challenge Rep. Jenkins

Kansas State Sen. Laura Kelly, a Topeka Democrat, threw her hat into the ring Friday to challenge Republican U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins next year.

Democrats like their chances. It’s a district that’s gone both ways in the past few election cycles, and Jenkins, in her first-term, has had a gaffe or two. (Remember Jenkins’ “great white hope” comment from two months ago?)

Kansas’ 2nd District includes most of eastern Kansas outside Wyandotte and Johnson counties, including Leavenworth, Topeka, Manhattan, Pittsburg and parts of Lawrence. Republican Jim Ryun lost the seat to Nancy Boyda, a Democrat, who then lost it last year to Jenkins.

Read More »

Sebelius cracks wise, challenges Obama to some hoops

Flu prevention Czar Kathleen Sebelius was on the Jay Leno Show last night and took a shot at her boss’ basketball cred.

Leno asked the health and Human Services secretary whether she could beat President Obama in a game of “H-O-R-S-E.” Sebelius played college ball at Trinity Washington University.

“I actually made my college basketball team, so you know, bring it on,” she said. “Give your best shot.”

“Good luck in the new job!” Leno cracked.

Welshimer plans to seek re-election as Sedgwick County commissioner

welshimer_gwen 2008WICHITA — Sedgwick County Commissioner Gwen Welshimer said this morning she has filed as a candidate for re-election to the 5th District seat.

Welshimer, a Democrat, said in a statement delivered outside the Historic County Courthouse across the street from the Sedgwick County Courthouse that she wants to “continue holding the line for Sedgwick County taxpayers.”

She wants more property tax reduction and said she will continue to work for “safe, sensible and reasonable alternatives to a costly new jail.”

Welshimer, who was elected to the seat in the southeast Sedgwick County in 2006, said, “I have not been a commissioner who gives in to the out-of-touch ‘good old boy’ network.”

Two Republicans have announced plans to run for the seat. Derby Mayor Dion Avello has filed, and Derby City Council member Chuck Warren has said he plans to file. Wichita City Council member Jim Skelton, a Republican, said he is considering a run.

–Fred Mann

Men with Wichita ties appointed to head task force on racial profiling

A former Wichita police chief and a Wichita business-man have been appointed co-chairs of the Governor’s Task Force on Racial Profiling.

Gov. Mark Parkinson ap-pointed Mike Watson, former Wichita police chief and Curtis Whitten,  co-chairs today.

Watson of Milford spent more than 32 years in law en-forcement in Kansas. He is a member and past president of the Kansas Association of Chiefs of Police, as well as a member of the Kansas Peace Officers Association and the International Association of Chiefs of Police.

Whitten of Wichita has more than 17 years of security and investigative experience. He is  president and director of business development at Vend Tech Enterprise in Wichita.

“The safety and security of Kansans is paramount, and that includes protecting citizens from breaches of their personal rights,” said Parkinson.

He also appointed members Sheriff Dean Bush, Paula Flo-res, Rep. Delia Garcia, Pastor Virgil Horn Jr., Clyde Howard, Herman Jones and Rep. Mel-ody McCray-Miller. Also appointed were Mike Padilla, Shala Perez, Wilma Sanders, Susanna Valdovinos, Jabari Wamble and Rep. Valdenia Winn.