UPDATE: Monday, June 11, 2012
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach says about 350 people filed to run for the state Legislature.
Dozens of those candidates went to Kobach's office in Topeka to file just hours ahead of the noon Monday deadline. Kobach says about 250 people are running for 125 House seats and about 100 for the 40 Senate seats.
“It’s pretty crazy - crazy in the sense that things are unpredictable,” says Secretary of State Kris Kobach. “There are all kinds of people running around trying to decide what they are going to do trying to beat that noon deadline.”
Among the last minute candidates was Wichita City Council member Michael O'Donnell. He will run for state senate against incumbent Jean Schodorf.
The final hours were unusually hectic because the state's political boundaries weren't set until last Thursday, when three federal judges redrew them to account for population shifts over the past decade. The major parties were still recruiting candidates over the weekend.
The judges were forced to redraw congressional, state House, state Senate and State Board of Education districts because the Legislature failed to do it this year, prompting a lawsuit.
Monday, June 11, 2012
Dozens of candidates for the Kansas Legislature scrambled to meet the state's filing deadline after political redistricting reset the political landscape.
Candidates had until noon Monday, less than four days after three federal judges redrew the state's political boundaries. Their paperwork had be received and reviewed by the secretary of state's office in Topeka, so last-minute filers went there in person.
The last hours were more hectic than they had been in the past because of the federal judges' ruling last week. The ruling created new open seats and paired incumbents in more than two dozen districts. That created opportunities for newcomers.
And at least a few incumbents were moving into different districts. Rep. Jan Pauls, a Hutchinson Republican, moved her official residence about six blocks.