Jorge Luis Flores is a candidate for UG Commissioner, 4th District.
Flores, 26, said he filed for election because he “wanted to be part of the change.” A former police officer, he said he wanted to engage more in community work.
Flores said he wanted to listen to the people in the community, and then do what the people want.
He is planning to go door-to-door in the district and participate in community groups and events.
Flores is currently working in the real estate and property management field.
A graduate of Wyandotte High School, Kansas City Kansas Community College and the University of Missouri at Kansas City, where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in criminal justice and a minor in communication studies. Flores is in the master’s program in public administration at UMKC.
When he was a police officer, he said he enjoyed working with students in the community. During his time as a police officer, he received two awards for valor. He was the valedictorian of his class at the KCK Police Academy.
Flores said he supports the UG’s S.O.A.R. program, which is trying to improve Kansas City, Kansas, neighborhoods.
“That project has been needed for some time,” he said. “It gives neighborhoods a better look and helps the overall value of our city.”
Flores is on the Argentine Neighborhood Development Association board of directors and the El Centro Inc. board of directors. He is a mentor with the Jobs for America’s Graduates program and has worked to help students stay in school. He has formed the Acts of Giving organization to help children and families in need.
The primary election will be Aug. 6 and the general election
will be Nov. 5. The filing deadline is at noon June 3.
They say it takes one to know one. As Kansas governor-elect Laura Kelly soon will be, former governor Kathleen Sebelius was a Democrat leading the state while Republicans controlled the Legislature.
Jim McLean of the Kansas News Service spoke with Sebelius about the support from Republicans that helped Kelly overcome competition from Republican Secretary of State Kris Kobach and independent Greg Orman in the governor’s race and what will make her successful in office.
Did the cross-party endorsements of Laura Kelly by prominent Republicans make a difference in the governor’s race?
Sebelius: Bill Graves — my predecessor, moderate Republican, two-term governor … he didn’t endorse me. He had not endorsed a Democrat running for governor. For him to come out right after the primary and make that first endorsement was hugely significant. …
[Former U.S. Sen.] Nancy Kassebaum had not endorsed me. She’s a friend I’d worked with her, but this was a unique situation for both of them and for her, again, to say to a lot of her supporters, women independents, moderate Republicans, ‘I’m with Laura.’ …
And then … to add [former Republican Gov.] Mike Hayden to that chorus was very significant.
How well will Kelly’s reputation for bipartisanship serve her as governor?
Sebelius: I think what she brings is a lot more than a reputation. She has hands on experience in the Legislature, building consensus and building coalitions. She has relationships with a lot of the people who she will be serving with and continuing to serve with. And she also has been elected as a legislator. She knows what that takes, what they’re telling their constituents back home, what they need to produce in Topeka.
I always felt that … it was a huge advantage to me to be a governor who had served in the Legislature because you know the job very well and you know what the committees are like and you know how to get things done. Laura [Kelly] has that in spades.
She also is one of the key budget experts in the whole Legislature. She knows where the money is, what the framework is. …
And what she knows very well is even if all the Democrats vote for all the legislation she proposes, she loses every fight, so she has to have a way to put a coalition together. … It’s a different [coalition], depending on what the issue is — school finance issues may be one group of people; something on criminal justice reform may be a very different group of people; economic development and building roads and bridges may be a third.
But … knowing what that coalition might look like, knowing how to get that done … [Kelly] does not need training wheels for this job. She’s ready to go.
How has the political climate changed since Sebelius was governor of Kansas herself?
Sebelius: I definitely think the atmosphere is more partisan and more poison.
I do think Kansas both in 2016 with a turn to a more moderate Legislature and then again in 2018 have said, ‘we really are not sure we want to be part of that mix.’
… And Laura [Kelly] will be the beneficiary of that, of people saying ‘we want to get some things done,’ ‘we do believe that the state was headed in the wrong direction under the Brownback administration.’
Kris Kobach embraced [Brownback’s agenda] fully and then added some Trumpian features, but the [governor’s] race was really about whether or not the policies put in place by [former Gov.] Sam Brownback and [Gov.] Jeff Colyer should continue or whether we needed to move in a new direction.
And I think the voters pretty overwhelmingly said, ‘new direction.’
Jim McLean is managing director of the Kansas News Service, a collaboration of KCUR, Kansas Public Radio, KMUW and High Plains Public Radio covering health, education and politics. You can reach him on Twitter @jmcleanks. Kansas News Service stories and photos may be republished at no cost with proper attribution and a link to ksnewsservice.org.
Incumbent Rep. Kathy Wolfe Moore, D-36th Dist., won re-election Tuesday night as Wyandotte County voters set a record in voter turnout for midterm elections.
The 49.13 percent voter turnout here saw 40,853 ballots cast, according to election office records.
“Over the years, Wyandotte County has gotten sort of beat up,” Rep. Wolfe Moore said, with people saying that Wyandotte County voters don’t turn out.
“Well, this election, Wyandotte County did its job,” Rep. Wolfe Moore said. The 49 percent turnout was a record for a midterm election, according to the election office.
It compares to a turnout of 29,123 in the midterm election of 2014, which was 35.3 percent, according to Rep. Wolfe Moore.
“So Wyandotte County showed up big at this election and should be proud of their performance,” she said.
Why the high turnout? Rep. Wolfe Moore said it was because the Democratic candidate at the top, Laura Kelly, was a good candidate and drove a lot of voter excitement, along with the 3rd District Congressional candidate, Sharice Davids.
Different people got involved in this election, she added. A lot of clergy members in Wyandotte County participated by encouraging voter turnout, not endorsing candidates but sponsoring “Souls to the Polls” and other voter turnout events, she said.
Rep. Wolfe Moore attended Gov.-elect Kelly’s election watch party on Tuesday evening in Topeka.
“In the governor’s race, I really think the voters of Kansas put partisan politics aside in most respects, and really tried to vote for the best person to lead Kansas forward,” Rep. Wolfe Moore said. “I think they realized the last eight years have been incredibly difficult for Kansas, and they were willing to cross party lines and vote for the best candidate. That’s where it should be, and that’s very gratifying to see.”
Women were elected to many offices throughout the nation on Tuesday night, with more women running for governor nationally. Rep. Wolfe Moore said there seemed to be a lot of enthusiasm among women voters for women candidates this year, possibly driven by what’s going on in Washington, D.C.
“I think women candidates had an advantage this year, no doubt,” she said.
It might be difficult for a Democratic governor where Republicans control the House and Senate to get things done.
“One thing that will help is she’s committed,” Rep. Wolfe Moore said. “Her administration is going to be bipartisan.”
Gov.-elect Kelly is expected to appoint people from the Democratic and Republican parties to her administration, Rep. Wolfe Moore said.
She believes that it’s possible to run a successful bipartisan administration, because former Gov. Kathleen Sebelius previously did so, and was successful at getting her policy priorities accomplished.
“Laura is in the Senate and there are 40 senators,” Rep. Wolfe Moore said. “This year there were nine Democrats.”
She always had to work with the opposing party to get anything done, Rep. Wolfe Moore said.
“That experience and reputation will help her quite a bit,” she said. “She’s not seen as overly partisan.”
Rep. Wolfe Moore, an eight-year incumbent, won her contest with about 70 percent of the vote. Her district is on the northwest side of Wyandotte County.
The campaign was a very civil one, with Rep. Wolfe Moore and Chiquita Coggs, the Republican nominee, not engaging in negative campaigning.
Coggs was the only Republican who filed for a state representative position in Wyandotte County.
State Rep. Tom Burroughs, D-33rd Dist., won re-election Tuesday night with 67.8 percent of the vote against Libertarian Jason Conley.
Other state representatives, without opposition, who were re-elected here included Rep. Louis E. Ruiz, D-31st Dist.; Rep. Pam Curtis, D-32nd Dist.; Rep. Val Winn, D-34th Dist.; Rep. Broderick Henderson, D-35th Dist.; and Rep. Stan Frownfelter, D-37th Dist.