Kansas Creationist School Board Election Results

WE’VE BEEN watching the school board race in Kansas, where five positions on the 10-member Kansas State Board of Education were up for grabs. The pro-science members had been in a precarious majority (6 to 4) before the election.

Of the five seats involved in this election, three had been held by pro-science members, but none of those three were running for re-election. The balance of power between the pro-science and creationist factions was very much up for grabs. Two races were expected to result in no change, one would be a loss for creationists, and two other seats were possible gains for creationists. So creationists could have netted one new seat, resulting in a 5-5 split on the board.

The election results are reported in the Topeka Capital-Journal, where we read Campbell elected to state ed board, subtitled: “Results diminish membership of conservatives.” [In Kansas, at least in this context, “conservative” means “creationist.”]

In District 4, the race was between Republican Robert Meissner (creationist, a Topeka dentist) and Democrat Carolyn Campbell (who supports evolution). The winner replaces a pro-science member, so this could have been a gain for the creationists. But it wasn’t. As reported in the Topeka Capital-Journal:

Topekan Carolyn Campbell won her historic run for the Kansas State Board of Education during an election that further shifted control of the board away from conservatives.

Campbell, a Democrat, will become the state’s first black school board member when she and other newly elected board members take their seats in January.

That’s one for the pro-science side. Another potential creationist gain was the race in District 8, between Republican Dennis Hedke (creationist, endorsed by Kathy Martin) and Democrat Walt Chappell (pro-science “moderate”). They were running for a seat held by Republican Carol Rupe, a pro-science moderate. Note that the Republican in this race is a creationist, although some of that party in other races were pro-science.

We aren’t specifically told, but we assume that the pro-science Mr. Chappel won in that district. As reported in the Topeka Capital-Journal:

Campbell was one of three Democrats who won election to the state board Tuesday. …

The only conservative [in this context that means “creationist”] to win election was Kathy Martin, a Clay Center Republican who also was the only incumbent running for re-election. She was defeating Democrat Christopher Renner, of Manhattan, with 59 percent of the vote with most precincts reporting early today.

The results expand the moderate/liberal faction’s lead to 7-3 — at least until 2010 when the other five state board seats are up for election.

So there you are. Kansas is out of the game this time around. But we have other states to watch.

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3 responses to “Kansas Creationist School Board Election Results

  1. This is wonderful and encouraging news, especially after Laura Ewing and Edra Bogle’s losses in the Texas SBOE elections. I guess the DI will have to stick to Texas and Louisiana for now.

  2. All that the Discoveroids got for the year’s efforts is that law in Louisiana, although Michigan still has an “academic freedom” bill pending. And then there’s always next year’s legislative sessions.

    School board activity is less visible. Texas, of course, is the creationists’ current best hope. I suspect that I won’t be running out of material for the blog. Should that happen, I can always work on other issues.

  3. So, our beloved Kathy survived. I’m sure her statement “that her challenger’s sexual preference should not be an issue” had nothing to do with it. Then again, maybe that “in-your-underwear” issue of their differences on sex ed was the deciding factor. You know gays are trying to indoctrinate our kids into their lifestyle, right?