Topeka, Kansas, Nov. 6 – In this year’s gubernatorial election, Democratic candidate Senate Minority Whip Laura Kelly, a member of the Kansas State Senate for the 18th district, clinched the victory for the Kansas Governor seat. She defeated Republican candidate Kris Kobach, who is Kansas’ Secretary of State.
Earlier this campaign season, Kelly completed a disability issues questionnaire for Senate and gubernatorial candidates put out by RespectAbility, a nonpartisan, nonprofit national organization working to end stigmas and advance opportunities for people with disabilities. The questionnaire included 10 questions on topics important to people with disabilities and those close to them. Despite repeated requests to his campaign, Kobach did not respond to the questionnaire.
Kelly said one of her proudest accomplishments in the legislature was achieving support for early childhood education programs. When it comes to seeing students with disabilities succeed in school and prepare for competitive employment, Kelly explained, “We know the significant impact early investment can have on kids going into kindergarten and the difference it can make in the years to come.”
“When I am governor,” Kelly continued, “Kansas will invest more in programs like this that benefit our children and put them on the past to success so they can go on to high school, higher education and eventually the workforce.”
With 44.7 percent of Kansas’ 188,671 working-age people with disabilities employed, the Sunflower State ranks 15th in terms of employment rate for people with disabilities in the U.S. But this still leaves 55.3 percent of Kansas’ working-age residents with disabilities out of work. In comparison, 19.2 percent of Kansans without disabilities are not working.
View Kelly’s response to the questionnaire below: