Faust-Goudeau files for re-election, plans to run on legislative record


State Sen. Oletha Faust-Goudeau has filed for re-election, solidifying a 29th District rematch with her 2008 opponent KC Ohaebosim.

Faust-Goudeau, 52, filed her candidacy papers in Topeka where she is finishing out the current legislative session and said today that she plans to run on her record as a senator.

Faust-Goudeau faced Ohaebosim, also a Democrat, four years ago in her first run for Senate. She won the primary with about 70 percent of the vote, and then beat Republican Kenya Cox in the general election by about the same margin.

Ohaebosim said he welcomes the chance to face Faust-Goudeau again because a competitive race is “good for the Democratic process.”

He said he looks forward to debating Faust-Goudeau and said he plans to attend any opportunities offered to participate in forums for community groups.

“We’re very happy that she did decide to file,” he said. “We want the voters to take a good hard look at all the candidates in the 29th District.”

Grandparents’ right has been Faust-Goudeau’s signature issue, as a senator for four years and a state representative for five before that.

She has shepherded three bills on that topic, starting with the first bill she filed as a freshman lawmaker in 2004.

That bill, which was enacted in 2006, provided for grandparents to receive financial support when they take over care of grandchildren who would otherwise be placed in foster homes at a higher cost to the state.

Last year, she guided through a bill requiring grandparents to receive notification of child-in-need-of-care court proceedings involving their grandchildren. And this year, she has been advocating for a bill that is close to final passage to require courts to give consideration to grandparents when making decisions in child-placement cases.

“Everybody thinks it’s been one (grandparents’ rights bill), but it’s three distinct pieces that have helped people not only in the 29th District but throughout the state of Kansas,” she said.

Faust-Goudeau also has been active on insurance, with a bill to provide continued health care for spouses and children of firefighters killed in the line of duty; and identity theft, with a bill that allows victims whose identities were stolen to clear criminal records without having to pay.

Faust-Goudeau has also been active in the northeast Wichita community, serving as chairwoman of a monument committee for a memorial dedicated to the 30 people who died when an Air Force tanker crashed in the North Piatt neighborhood in 1965.

Listing her occupation as “community activist” on her state Web page, Faust-Goudeau has worked with schools and other agencies for children, including efforts to teach financial literacy and fathering skills.