Editor’s Note: A previous version of this story contained incorrect information about the November general election race. The story has been updated.
Gail Finney beat fellow Democrat Inga Taylor by 129 votes in 2008 to take the 84th District House seat.
Taylor is back for a rematch.
The winner of the Aug. 3 primary will face Republican Dan Heflin in November. The district stretches roughly from Second and Washington to East 21st and Woodlawn in Wichita.
Education is a high priority for both candidates. Both oppose cutting state aid to schools.
"Research has shown us that education plays a big part in if or when our children will end up in the (judicial) system," Taylor said.
Both support the 1-cent sales tax increase that went into effect July 1 to help fill the state's budget gap. Finney voted for it.
Finney said education is the key to getting jobs in the future.
"My top three priorities are job creation, preparing young people for these jobs of the future, and retraining current workers," she said.
"Investments such as the highway program will guarantee that quality jobs stay in the state."
The two share other views:
Both would support a state rainy day fund as a cushion against future revenue shortfalls.
Both say they would not seek changes in the state's late-term abortion laws.
Finney said her experience gives her an advantage in the rematch.
"I believe I have done a very good job as a first-term legislator," she said. "I have never missed a vote, I have an excellent attendance record, I am very accessible, I communicate regularly with my district, and I have sponsored and co-sponsored legislation."
Taylor said her reasons for running are still the same.
"I believe that is where I am supposed to be — serving the people that I see on a daily basis that are hopeless, and the things that keep them that way, (like) our criminal justice system," she said.
Taylor, who raised around $10,000 more in the last election, said she is ready to try again.
"I have gotten a great response," she said. "When we start talking about what was did in the last election to me, they are glad to (see) me back."
Taylor said after the 2008 election that she felt Finney had used Taylor's sexuality against her. Taylor, who is a lesbian, received substantial financial support nationwide through a connection to the Gay and Lesbian Victory
Fund, a Washington-based political action committee.
Finney said she did not say anything related to Taylor's sexual orientation.
"That is an unproven and false accusation," Finney said.
In a statement released shortly after the end of the race in 2008, Finney said she intended to represent all Kansans and her concern was not Taylor's sexual orientation but "the excessive influence of out-of-state money. It was never my intention to upset or offend anyone."
She said she was not surprised when Taylor declared she would run again.
Taylor, who chose to run in 2008 after discovering what she called the lack of affordable health care when her daughter died, acknowledges that two civil claims have been filed against her since she last ran.
"Afterwards I just fell behind, as I took time to grieve," Taylor said. "(I) wasn't really paying attention to my mail. So, yes, I have had some bills that I had to slowly pay off."
Finney said the upcoming election isn't about her or Taylor.
"It's really about the people of the 84th District and who is the best and strongest voice for their concerns," she said.
"What I hear the 84th District residents talking about consistently are jobs, the economy, safe streets, and good schools — period."