Good day, Sunflower State! Let’s keep the sun shining and the flowers growing, and read up on some eco-friendly congressional candidates running in Kansas. To learn more about Sustainable Politician Project, read our full intro here.
Voting in Kansas
Your state has a semi-closed poll type, meaning some of you are going to be restricted on who you can vote for. If you’re already affiliated with a particular political party, then you can only vote for candidates in that party. If you are unaffiliated with any party, then great! You can vote for whichever candidate you choose on August 7. Candidates only need the most votes to move onto the general election this November.
Things on the ballot this year: U.S. House, governor, attorney general, secretary of state, state executive offices, state house, appellate courts, local judges, municipal government, and candidate ballot access. You will not be voting for U.S. Senate this year.
U.S. House of Representatives
Find your district here.
Your candidates don’t talk too much about sustainability, but we do have a candidate that indicates he’s a bit more environmentally aware than the other two.
Our pick: Alan LaPolice
- Former District Superintendent
- U.S. Army Vet
Although Alan’s campaign site does not discuss environmental stances in his platform, a political courage test from 2016.
With regards to energy, Alan opposes the Keystone XL pipeline and wants to increase fracking regulations. This is good news for the environment, as both of these pose numerous risks for natural habitats and public health. Plus, he states that fracking’s exemption from the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts is pretty inexcusable. He also strongly supports renewable energy investments, and eventually hopes to see our country running on 100% clean energy by offering incentives for fossil fuel industry workers to transition out of their jobs and into new ones. Lastly, Alan does support regulating greenhouse gas emissions, but he’s more for incentivizing businesses and residents to clean up their carbon footprint, rather than implementing a lot of restrictions.
Other District 1 Candidates:
- Roger Marshall (R) – incumbent – Believes the EPA is overregulating Kansas, especially when it comes to wetlands/streams. (Which is odd, considering Kansas often faces drought.) He’s also worried about EPA regulations harming the energy industry, meaning he probably wants to continue fossil fuel production.
- Nick Reinecker (R)
Again, your candidates don’t really discuss environmental topics on their websites, but we’ll highlight a candidate for their political courage test.
Our pick: Paul Davis
- Former state representative
Paul’s political courage test from 2008 reveals some good stances. Let’s review. First, he supported an increase of clean energy, but not for more fossil fuel production. He also showed concerns for contaminated and/or abandoned industrial sites, and wanted to use state funds to clean these areas. During this time, Paul did not support the construction of coal-fired power plants in Kansas. Instead, he supported regulating greenhouse gas emissions and implementing other environmental restrictions that might even be strict than federal policies.
Other District 2 Candidates:
- Vernon Fields (R)
- Steve Fitzgerald (R) – Finds EPA regulations overburdening to farmers.
- Kevin Jones (R) – A political courage test from 2012 shows Kevin’s support for both renewable and nonrenewable energy development and open space preservation. He opposed implementing environmental regulations to reduce climate change effects.
- Doug Mays (R) – Wants to rollback “dangerous” environmental regulations.
- Dennis Pyle (R)
- Caryn Tyson (R) – Wants to increase “our domestic energy production” with an emphasis on clean energy, but implies that both renewable and nonrenewable sources are on the agenda.
- Steve Watkins (R)
- Kelly Standley (Libertarian)
Our pick: Jay Sidie
- Vice President at Archer Daniels Midland Co. (ADM)
Jay strongly supports the use of science when it comes to environmental policies. He understands that human health is at risk, and that the research needs to continue, expand, and be used to create and uphold environmental protections. For these reasons, Jay supports renewable energy to reduce carbon emissions and keep the air clean. He wants to keep the EPA on track and focused on their original goal: protection for the environment and the people. Jay thinks that working with environmentally friendly groups (he sites the Sierra Club) could help keep track of attacks on eco-friendly policies and inform the public of how these regulations can impact them.
Additionally, Jay supports rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement, fighting against attempts to weaken protections for national parks, and ways to encourage cleaner environments. He especially wants to end tax breaks for the fossil fuel industry and incentivize energy efficiency. Jay also wants to incentivize carbon capture in order to reduce harmful emissions polluting the environment.
Other District 3 Candidates:
- Mike McCamon (D) – Honorable mention! Mike wants to minimize human disruption to the surrounding ecosystems in a number of ways. He supports the Paris Climate Agreement, reducing gasoline and diesel-fueled vehicles, significantly increasing wind energy production, and supporting the EPA and ensure their goal of protecting the environment (and public health).
- Sharice Davids (D) – Wants to develop Kansas’ wind energy further, supports tax incentives for a renewable energy transition, and plans to protect Clean Air & Water Acts.
- Tom Niermann (D) – Wants to uphold current environmental regulations and support green energy, clean water, and conservation.
- Brent Welder (D) – Supports keeping air & water clean, the Paris Climate Agreement, and clean energy.
- Sylvia Williams (D) – Supports the Paris Climate Agreement, renewable energy development in Kansas, and effective environmental regulations (specifically ones that would not overlook necessary protections and lead to another Flint crisis.)
- Kevin Yoder (R) – incumbent
- Trevor Keegan (R)
- Joe Myers (R)
- Chris Clemmons (Libertarian)
Our pick: Laura Lombard
- Founding President and Executive Director of Middle East & North Africa Consultants Association (MENA Consultants)
Laura is a big fan of the EPA that prevents environmental deterioration and protects public health with clean air and water standards. She understands that clean energy is a way to continue upholding these standards and promote a healthier future, especially for Kansan farmers. Without addressing climate change, farms across the state will continue to face increasing challenges such as drought and unpredictable weather patterns. Whether you’re a farmer or not, this would have a big impact on the state’s economy.
With clean energy, Laura sees an opportunity for Kansas. She wants to provide training programs for aviation manufacturers to work on manufacturing wind turbines and other clean energy technology. Using these technologies in the state and across the country will benefit the environment, jobs, and public health.