Jean Schodorf (photo submitted)
(WIBW) - A former Republican State Senator announced Wednesday that she will run for Kansas Secretary of State as a Democrat.
Jean Schodorf kicked off her campaign to unseat Republican Secretary of State Kris Kobach with a news conference in Wichita.
“The taxpayers pay for a full-time Secretary of State. My opponent has earned a lot of money moonlighting as a lawyer, lobbyist, and consultant for outside interests on our time. I think that’s wrong,” Schodorf said in a news release posted on her web site.
Schodorf said Kobach is focusing on a personal agenda, pointing to issues with voter registrations being held up.
In an email to 13 News, Kobach responded that he is working to protect against voter fraud, saying his polls show 84 percent of Kansans support providing proof of citizenship to register and 85 percent support showing photo ID at the polls. In addition, he says his outside work as an attorney is done on his own time.
"Some people golf in their spare time. I work to stop illegal immigration," Kobach wrote.
In her statement, Schodorf outlined the following agenda:
Transparency. There will no more secrets at the Secretary of State’s office…no more six-week gaps in official schedules…no more sneaking out of state to Alabama, Arizona, Pennsylvania, or anywhere else to work on other projects.
Make the office business friendly. Schodorf will reorganize the office and employ new technologies so that people trying to register a new business will not have to wait on hold for 30 minutes or more. She will prioritize fixing the agency’s website so Kansans can easily find what they are looking for.
Fix the voter registration mess. Because of Kris Kobach’s failed leadership, over 17,000 Kansans are being denied the right to vote. Many of them are women, seniors, and veterans. The solution is very simple: We need to use technology to link up the Secretary of State to the Office of Vital Statistics to verify birth certificates instantaneously. There is no excuse for having two state agencies just blocks away from each other failing to communicate and coordinate.
Additional information from Schodorf's web site:
Jean Schodorf is a former Kansas State Senator. She was the Assistant Majority Whip in the Senate and chaired three committees, including the Senate Education Committee. She also served on the critical Ways and Means Committee.
Schodorf has a PhD from Wichita State University and works as a Speech/Language Pathologist.