2018 Government Relations Highlights

 December 2018

2018 Government Relations Highlights

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Dear GPACAC Members,

Here's a quick update of the election results within our region and a little bit of insight as to how this may affect education in our states.

New Governors

Kansas (D - Laura Kelly) and Oklahoma (R - Kevin Stitt) elected new governors in the 2018 mid-term elections. Kelly defeated for KS Secretary of State, Kris Kobach, moving the governorship to the Democratic party for the first time in eight years. Kansas has a history of electing people from the opposite party as the sitting governor. Kelly’s running mate, Lynn Rogers, is a former state senator and long-time school board member for the Wichita school district, home to over 53,000 students. They both have a history of supporting education issues.

Stitt, a mortgage company owner and political newcomer who contributed $5 million to his own campaign, beat a four-term Democratic attorney general. Stitt wants to raise teacher pay to match the pay of teachers in Oklahoma’s six-state footprint. Without a voting history we don’t know what direction he and the new administration will take regarding education.

Nebraska re-elected R-Pete Ricketts with almost 60% of the votes. He hopes to focus the state budget on career and vocational training.


The major shake-ups took place in Kansas and Oklahoma. Kansas elected Sharice Davids (D) to the U.S. House of Representatives. Kansas 3rd Congressional District, long held by Republicans, elected the first openly LGBTQ Kansan elected to Congress. Davids, a Cornell Law School graduate and former mixed martial artist, is also a member of the Ho-Chunk nation who attended Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, KS.

Oklahoma elected Kendra Horn (D) to represent District 5 in the U.S. House of Representatives. Horn, the first Democrat to be elected in the 5th District in 44 years, earned a Bachelor of Arts from GPACAC’s own University of Tulsa and a law degree from Southern Methodist University. Horn lists education at the top of her web site saying she will “prioritize investing in our children by properly funding education, making college affordable, and expanding job training programs.”

Best wishes in 2019,

Aaron Hamilton

Government Relations, Great Plains Association for College Admission Counseling

Associate Director of Undergraduate Admissions, Wichita State University


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