- Where:Lawrence Arts Center, 940 New Hampshire St., Lawrence
- Cost: Not available
- Age limit: Not available
Former State Senator Jean Schodorf: "Why I Left the Republican Party"
Former State Senator Jean Schodorf of Wichita will speak this Saturday about her recent departure from the Republican Party, and why she is now a Democrat.
A three-term state senator, Schodorf was first elected to the Kansas Senate in 2001. During her tenure, Schodorf served as chair of the Senate Education Committee. In 2012, Schodorf and other moderate Republicans were targeted by Gov. Sam Brownback. After a barrage of misleading, negative attacks by groups like Americans for Prosperity (AFP) and the Chamber of Commerce, Schodorf was defeated in the Republican Primary by conservative candidate and Brownback disciple, Michael O’Donnell.
Shortly after the election, Schodorf announced plans to switch parties and register as a Democrat. “As a lifelong republican I feel as though the Republican Party, nationally and at the state level, no longer represents me,” she said at the time. “My family has been Republican since Lincoln – since the party started. My parents, my grandparents, my great-grandparents were all Republicans. But it’s changed. There’s no room for people who actually think in moderation.”
Since leaving office, Schodorf has launched a blog, Our Kansas Voice, with fellow former state Senator, Dick Kelsey. “We decided to create Our Kansas Voice because we are concerned that real debate or opposing views will be missing or ignored in Topeka over the next couple of years,” Schodorf said. According to the organization’s website, the purpose is to provide an independent forum to talk about issues and to encourage citizens to get involved in government.
Sponsored by Douglas County Democrats