OVERLAND PARK- Rob McKnight, a longtime Republican political consultant and lifelong Johnson County resident, today filed for the Kansas House of Representatives as a Democrat. McKnight seeks the 20th House District seat, which Rep. Kevin Yoder vacated to run for Congress.
McKnight released this statement in response to his decision to run for office:
My wife and I have lived in the 20th District since 1978.
Sunday night, one of the three Republican candidates for this open House seat knocked on our front door. I was respectful and asked my basic questions, mostly about their ties to the 20th.
In a nutshell ... Lived here a month. No children in schools. Not a property taxpayer. Worked for the two largest law firms on the Missouri side.
In 2002 this district elected a first-time candidate who moved into the area just two-days before the primary election. He had never paid one penny in property taxes. Today, I think two of the three Republican candidates are his clones.
If one of them were to win on August 3rd, I think they should be challenged.
I don't want a non-taxpayer, non-PTA member speaking for me on important legislation.
My views and opinions deserve a voice in Topeka.
So, on Monday I changed my party registration after being a life-long Republican.
This morning I went to Topeka and filed as a Democrat candidate for the Kansas House of Representatives, 20th District.
Why not just support the moderate Republican? I do and I'm sure my wife will vote for her.
It's a fact that one of the primary reasons anything was accomplished in Topeka this year was because of the coalition of the House Democrats and the 'moderate' Republicans. Without this group, the Clean Air Act and a responsible budget benefiting our schools and social services would not have passed.
We won't know until 7pm on Tuesday, August 3rd if the 20th District will nominate a Republican who would have been proud to be a member of this coalition. Our current representative chose to use his campaign for Congress as a reason to "tack to the right" and deny the wishes of his more moderate constituents. If the Republican nominee follows the incumbent, I will actively campaign for the office.
For almost thirty-five years I have had a political career ... not on a ballot but helping over 400 candidates articulate their key issues. My top three are:
First, since I first voted in 1968, the idea of being a fiscal conservative has been abandoned. I am not beholden to special interests and have many year's experience living on a budget. Topeka needs to learn that lesson.
Second, except for college and graduate studies, our children attended public schools in the 20th district. As a PTA member, and former 'homeroom Mother', I will support adequate funding for our local schools. 'E' is for Education. It is also for Economy, Efficiency and Effectiveness.
Third, there is too much special interest money trying to buy it's way into Kansas politics.
Starting with my campaign, I will do what I can to stop this practice. Except for family and friends I willnot accept any contribution from individuals or companies that do not have interests in the 20th District.
Further, when elected, I will be one of a very small number of legislators who do not accept lobbyist and special interest group meals, drinks, trinkets and entertainment. Unlike others in this area, I never want to be recognized as the "Best Fed Legislator."
So, what happens tomorrow?
I will do what I've told hundreds of candidates before me ... get some sleep, stand-up straight and start contacting friends and family for contributions, support and endorsements. After that, visit with our past and current neighbors, and you, about what all of you want done in Topeka.
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