Candidates who filed and raised money to run in one legislative district only to see their district change with the federal judges’ remapping recently were advised that their campaign dollars could transfer to the race in their new district. But the numerous House members running for Senate seats cannot use leftover funds from past races as they campaign for the other chamber, thanks to the Kansas Supreme Court’s 2003 decision in Cole v. Mayans. The justices sided with former Wichita City Council member Joan Cole in ruling that Carlos Mayans could not use $70,000 in leftover legislative campaign funds to run for mayor. Post-redistricting, Rep. Jim Ward, D-Wichita, cited that prohibition as a reason he filed to run in his new House district, against fellow incumbent Rep. Judith Loganbill, rather than try for a Senate seat. Carol Williams, executive director of the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission, has invited lawmakers to update the law regarding transfer of campaign funds. When U.S. Reps. Jerry Moran and Todd Tiahrt faced off in 2010 for the state’s open U.S. Senate seat, they both were able to transfer over funds they’d raised for their House races. It seems like common sense for state law to mirror federal law, and allow such fund transfers for Statehouse races.
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