LYNN ANNOUNCEMENT STATEMENT – 01.05.23
Kansas Democrats repeatedly send a loud message to the GOP that we don’t want a Kansas Government that is about pushing an ideological agenda that hurts our families. We repealed the Tax Experiment Disaster of Sam Brownback and his cronies and, in 2018, elected Governor Kelly and myself. In 2022 we rallied together and rose to the moment, joining with Kansans from across the state and varied political factions to preserve our Constitutional Rights. We stayed the course and ensured that Governor Laura Kelly and Representative Sharice Davids continued to serve the people of Kansas. We stood with our neighbors to block a constitutional amendment that attacked women’s rights. These are things we have built steadily up to over the years.
But it’s time for Kansas Democrats to ask for more.
We can not be satisfied with grasping at victory only in moments of great crisis when the media and the national spotlight come together to propel us toward meeting voters’ expectations. We came so close to taking away the supermajority in the Kansas House, less than 500 votes that would have forced the Republicans to be accountable to the voters and not the extremists within their base. These moments preserved so much of our progress in Kansas – but far too much was left on the table, and we MUST keep building, recruiting, and believing in our state.
Chris Mann should be our Attorney General Elect. Those five seats we left on the table in our State House of Representatives should have flipped. The way we have done things as Democrats in Kansas has gotten us this far, but we’ve hit a ceiling on our progress. It’s time to shake things up and move forward into the next chapter of what our party can be.
From the first day I decided to run for School Board in Wichita to my last day as Kansas State Treasurer, I have always seen my role in elected office centered on one thing: putting the people of Kansas first. What we do strongly impacts families, students, young people starting out, and our seniors moving into the golden years of their lives. None of them cared about our petty squabbling or old grievances because when we focused on that, we weren’t making sure their kids could be in school and have good teachers or how to ensure there were good jobs for young people or their parents, or that people could afford to retire. We neglect the daily realities of Kansan’s lives when we don’t focus on what is happening at their kitchen tables.
So now we must show Kansans that we heard them loud and clear – we haven’t done enough and must do more. We need to stand with them not just in places where friends surround us but everywhere in Kansas and have the hard conversations – and do it with respect and understanding. We must invest our time and energy into speaking with them from the first moments they are learning about the Constitution and our history as a nation to when they are worried about their grandkids and the world they are leaving behind.
That means doing some things differently, and I am prepared to put in that work. So after many weeks of talking with people across our great state and those who worked so hard on this election and ones before it, I am stepping forward and asking for the vote of my fellow Democrats to be Kansas Democratic State Party Chair.
We have a lot to accomplish. We need to invest in the great successes we have seen but also address our shortcomings. We need to invite new people to a seat at the table and ask many who have not felt welcome or have been left out to come back. I believe we can build on the successes of the last four years and set ourselves up for not just 2024 but ’26, ’28, and beyond. Kansas is at a crossroads, and we, as Democrats, have the right message and people to join our neighbors at their kitchen tables and work together for that future.
There has been a party caucus for local elected officials. This caucus is critically important or highlighted in a way that would effectively grow the democratic bench in Kansas and ensure that local issues are highlighted as having the greatest impact on Kansas Families.
Lynn Rogers firmly believes that the party should be working with local leadership to support and engage campaigns that reflect democratic values while respecting the communities and their relationships with their neighbors.
No one benefits from KDP leadership coming in over the top to dictate to people in these communities as to who they have as their representatives.
It will be an immediate priority of Lynn Rogers to assess the resources, support, and conversations needed to make the local elected officials caucus a priority for the Kansas Dems. He welcomes anyone that would like to join in this conversation.
It is time to move on from old grudges and past grievances.
The executive director role is one that cannot be taken lightly. We have seen what happens when people lose faith or feel like no one is listening to them. Before Lynn can pick ANYONE to fill this role, we must have a conversation that lays out what the ED would be responsible for and look at whether or not we need to update the job description or potentially split the role to support the state of Kansas.
No one has been promised or offered a position because that would be putting Lynn’s potential pick before the needs of Kansans.
There will be many conversations once we have a better understanding of the status of the party and who our leaders will be in the coming years. We are reaching out to a huge range of collaborators. From precinct committee seats all the way up to caucus chairs and executive committee members, there is a potential for new people to be part of the conversation and the deserve the chance to be heard.