Retiring Kansas moderate Republican State Senator John Vratil has crossed party lines to endorse Democrat Mike Delaney in the 11th Kansas Senate District.
Delaney is running against conservative Jeff Melcher of Leawood, who is supported by Governor Brownback. Vratil referred to Melcher as "just a mouthpiece for the governor" and said the Republican would do whatever the governor tells him to. "regardless of what the issue is."
Vratil says he believes Johnson Countians want an independent thinker who will support the county's financial interests – including in education. And he says the two candidates' credentials on education are strikingly different.
Vratil says Democrat Delaney is an attorney who has practiced education law throughout most of his career and is very well informed about issues involving public education.
By contrast, he says, Republican Melcher knows very little about the public education system and does not support adequate funding for the schools.
Conservative Melcher says Vratil's endorsing his opponent shows that Vratil is out of step with most Republicans.