October 19, 2008
Written by Mike Hall
Topeka Capital Journal

Annie Kuether is a Democrat representing the 55th District in the Kansas House of Representatives.

In encouraging voters to return her to a seventh two-year term, she is emphasizing her past experience and "institutional knowledge" in the Legislature.

"Understanding the history of events and working to make things better comes with time and a steep learning curve," she said.

She also said she has been effective because of her willingness to work with Democrats and Republicans.

Kuether and her late husband, John, moved to Topeka in 1976 and raised a son and daughter here. She was active in her children's activities, including their schools and in Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts.

She participated in PTO as a room mother, a classroom volunteer and library volunteer at Randolph Elementary, Robinson Middle School and Topeka High School.

She has been active in a number of other local programs and organizations and has served as a paraprofessional for special education and as a rape counselor.

She has participated in the Arts Council of Topeka and the Turn Around Team of central Topeka.

She also has been a member of the executive committee of the board of directors of Kansas State Historical Society.

In the Legislature, she has been chairwoman of the Shawnee County Legislative Delegation three times.

She is plainspoken on the issues facing the Legislature. She is a strong advocate for all-day kindergarten and other programs to prepare young children for later schooling.

As a member of the Kansas Energy and Environment Policy Advisory Group, she offers no specific solutions but recognizes that solutions are needed that will "enhance the quality of our lives, protect our natural resources and our environment, and create economic opportunities for our future."

She isn't sure what kind of long-range transportation plan the Legislature will come up with but said she opposes any increase in the gasoline tax.

The 55th District includes much of central Topeka, extending from some neighborhoods southwest of S.W. 21st and Gage northeast to include the downtown area.