"We've run this election before, several years ago," said Burdett Loomis, political science professor at the University of Kansas.The Johnson County Sun is a fairly conservative paper in suburban Kansas City. The newspaper profiles the upcoming races this way:
"I think you've got a lot of energy on the side of the moderates this time," Loomis said. "When you have high visibility the way the school board has encouraged it, moderates come out and react. They have good candidates and probably some decent amount of money."
Loomis said he would not be at all surprised to see the pendulum swing back this time.
"There is all the more tension," he said. "And you add insult to injury for moderates with the appointment of Bob Corkins as education commissioner. Certainly, there is a lot at stake."
Loomis said part of the conservatives' success has been keeping the profile of the board races as low as possible. Conservatives do better when people are not paying attention, he said.
New science standards that question the Darwinian theory of evolution, a controversial new education commissioner, charter schools, vouchers and sex education policies are among the contentious issues that have prompted nine candidates to file months in advance for five openings on the Kansas Board of Education.Note that the Sun did make, at least, one error. They report incorrectly that radical conservative Ken Willard of Hutchinson does not have an opponent yet. Actually, he has drawn opposition from the president of the McPherson School Board. See yesterday’s post about how Willard’s hometown newspaper is already campaigning against him.