Cristel Heffron Love, a Democrat from Peck, filed to run for Kansas House of Representatives District 79 because Kansans need someone who cares in office, she said Wednesday.
Heffron Love said she has lived in the Peck area for about 10 years, and is employed in social work as an advocate for domestic violence victims. She is married and has two grown stepchildren.
Asked why she is running, Heffron Love said there are a lot of things people continue to struggle with, and someone who cares is needed in office.
One example she gave is how the statewide food sales tax will not be eliminated until 2025, according to a bill recently approved by the state legislature and signed by Gov. Laura Kelly. Heffron Love said this tax should be eliminated immediately.
Heffron Love also said educators in the state need more support and that she would work to close the gap on Medicaid expansion, the latter of which legislators have so far resisted doing.
“Every Kansan has a voice that needs to be heard, and everyone needs to feel valued and safe,” Heffron Love said.
Asked about her opinion on the Value Them Both amendment, which if approved by voters would declare there is no right to abortion in the Kansas state constitution and allow laws to be passed limiting abortion, Heffron Love said she would have to look over the issue before making a statement.
Heffron Love said this is her first time running for any elected office. Her previous political involvement includes serving as a state capitol intern in 2004 and 2005, and she is also on several boards and has done advocacy work.
If elected, Heffron Love said she would keep in touch with constituents through newsletters, social media, public meetings and other means. She said more transparency and accessibility is needed from legislators.
Her website is www.love4ks.com, and she is also in the process of setting up a Facebook page and other social media.
Heffron Love will face Democrat Kris Trimmer, of Winfield, in the Aug. 2 primary election. The winner there will face the Republican nominee on Nov. 8. Republicans running for the officer are Incumbent Rep. Cheryl Helmer, of Mulvane, and Webster Roth, of Winfield.