Kansas State Board of Education primaries see 2 incumbents lose, 1 win – The Topeka Capital-Journal

by | Aug 3, 2022 | Education

The Kansas State Board of Education will see at least two new faces after conservative challengers beat out incumbents in three Republican primaries Tuesday.In District 5, covering much of western and north-central Kansas, Cathy Hopkins, of Hays, beat incumbent Jean Clifford, of Garden City, 54% to 46%. In District 7, which includes Reno and Saline counties, Dennis Hershberger, of Hutchison, beat Sterling resident and incumbent Ben Jones 59% to 41%.Current board chair Jim Porter, of Fredonia, was the sole incumbent to hold onto his seat in the District 9 race, beating McPherson resident and challenger Luke Aichele 62% to 38%. The district encompasses the southeast corner of the state but snakes into McPherson County.Kansas State Board of Education challengers ran on similar platformsWhile the state board is currently split evenly between five Republicans and five Democrats, its members have mostly eschewed party-line politics, and most of its actions since a few controversial votes in the early months of the pandemic have been mostly unanimous.In each of the three primary races, however, challengers ran on near-identical platforms — even using the same website templates — repudiating what they had called a complacent slate of Republican representative on the state education governing board.Their platforms included calls for greater local control over education matters, elimination or reduction of social-emotional teaching and data collection, and an emphasis on Kansas parents and guardians having “the unalienable, uninfringeable authority to direct the education of their child.”More:2022 Kansas Election ResultsThe conservative victories come after Kansas Senate President Ty Masteron, R-Andover, had called to break up a Kansas State Boar …

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