Opinion Columns & Blogs

Election left some offices less diverse

Diversity was among the losers in some election returns. January 2015 will be the first time since early 1966 that the statewide officeholders in Kansas have not included at least one woman. All male since 2011 and all white since 1999, the Sedgwick County Commission will continue to be both. The defeat of Sedgwick County District Judge Gregory Waller left the district bench with no African-Americans (he was one of three when appointed in 1993). However, Judge Faith Maughan was elected to her first full term in a race without opposition Tuesday, maintaining her status as the only woman among 28 district judges (just three of whom are Democrats, by the way). Unless provisional ballots change the outcome this week, state Rep. Patricia Sloop, D-Wichita, will not return to Topeka; results elsewhere in the state should mean that women again hold 28 of 125 House seats. A special election also added one woman to the Senate, for a total 13 of 40 senators. – Rhonda Holman