State Sen. Oletha Faust-Goudeau has filed for re-election, solidifying a 29th District rematch with her 2008 opponent, KC Ohaebosim.
Faust-Goudeau, 52, filed her candidacy papers in Topeka, where she is finishing out the current legislative session, and said Thursday that she plans to run on her record as a senator.
Grandparents’ rights has been Faust-Goudeau’s signature issue during her four years as a senator and five years as a state representative.
She has shepherded three bills on that topic, starting with the first bill she filed as a freshman lawmaker in 2004.
That bill, enacted in 2006, provided for grandparents to receive financial support when they take over care of grandchildren who would otherwise be placed in foster homes at a higher cost to the state.
Last year, she guided through a bill requiring grandparents to receive notification of child-in-need-of-care court proceedings involving their grandchildren. And this year, she has been advocating for a bill that is close to final passage to require courts to give consideration to grandparents when making decisions in child-placement cases.
"Everybody thinks it’s been one (grandparents’ rights bill), but it’s three distinct pieces that have helped people not only in the 29th District but throughout the state of Kansas," she said.
Faust-Goudeau also has been active on insurance, with a bill to provide continued health care for spouses and children of firefighters killed in the line of duty, and identity theft, with a bill that allows victims whose identities were stolen to clear criminal records without having to pay.
Faust-Goudeau has also been active in the northeast Wichita community, serving as chairwoman of a committee for a monument dedicated to the 30 people who died when an Air Force tanker crashed in the North Piatt neighborhood in 1965.
She lists her occupation as "community activist" on her state Web page and has worked with schools and other agencies for children, including efforts to teach financial literacy and fathering skills.
Faust-Goudeau faced Ohaebosim, also a Democrat, four years ago in her first run for Senate. She won the primary with about 70 percent of the vote, and then beat Republican Kenya Cox in the general election by about the same margin.
Ohaebosim could not be reached for comment Thursday. He has said his first goal in running is to "restore integrity" to the Senate seat.
Last year, police videos were obtained showing Faust-Goudeau, who had been stopped for traffic violations, telling officers that she was a state senator and showing a police department token that was given to her by Wichita Police Chief Norman Williams. In two of three traffic stops, she was let go with a warning by Wichita officers, although a state trooper did write her a $140 ticket for speeding on the Kansas Turnpike, which she paid.
Faust-Goudeau has apologized for the traffic-stop incidents and said she regretted that it had become a distraction from legislative issues such as jobs and education.