TOPEKA — Douglas County Democratic candidates for the Kansas Legislature Christina Haswood, Marci Francisco and Barbara Ballard claimed victory in the 2020 election Tuesday night.
Haswood, who will become the third Native American woman to serve in the Kansas Legislature, ran unopposed and won her race with about 95.5% of the vote. She will represent District 10 in the Kansas House of Representatives.
Francisco, a Kansas senator who represents District 2, and Ballard, who represents District 44 in the Kansas House, both ran unopposed in the election.
As poll results came in, the candidates joined together at the Kansas Democratic Party watch party at the Ramada Hotel in Topeka. The watch party started the night with a lineup of speakers who spoke both via Zoom and in-person.
Haswood made an in-person appearance at the watch party. She began her speech by introducing herself in her native Navajo language.
Haswood highlighted her campaign promises of expanding Medicaid, protecting the environment, responding to COVID-19 with science, and defending public schools and educators.
“As an Indigenous woman, I know what it’s like to be from a marginalized population, and one that is often forgotten and too often invisible in the data,” Haswood said.
Haswood reflected on her childhood growing up in Lawrence in government assistance programs. At 26 years old, Haswood said her race has been surreal.
“Just two years ago I was in graduate school, and my greatest worries were about getting a job and student loans,” Haswood said. “Today, the world has changed.”
Francisco began her speech by thanking everyone who worked on her campaign by “talking to friends and family, putting up signs, and working to get ballots in.”
Francisco ended her speech addressing unemployment in Kansas. She said every Democratic legislative representative she knows is working with their constituents to address concerns about unemployment benefits.
Ballard applauded the youth vote and effort to get young people to the polls.
“For seven weeks, we have spent a lot of time with [University of Kansas] students on campus, and they have been very enthusiastic, and they have wanted to participate,” Ballard said. “For that I’m extremely grateful.”
A member of the Kansas House for over 27 years, Ballard concluded her speech with hope for the future of the state.
“We are working on making things better,” Ballard said. “Better for people, better for Kansans, and better for all of us in the United States of America.”