State Rep. Sharon Schwartz, a Washington Republican, filed for re-election to a ninth term recently.
Schwartz was first elected in 1997 to the seat, which represents the cities of Riley, Leonardville and Randolph as well as the northern half of Riley County and all of Marshall and Washington counties.
She is the chairman of the Agriculture and Natural Resources Budget Committee and the Vice Chair of the Joint Committee on Pensions, Investments, and Benefits.
Schwartz defeated Libertarian Skip Breitmeyer in 2010, winning 84 percent of the vote.
She joins a field of legislative candidates that is expected to expand quickly as soon as lawmakers conclude their work of redrawing the state’s House and Senate boundaries. State Rep. Tom Phillips, a Manhattan Republican who was appointed in February to represent the Manhattan-based 67th District, has declared his intent to seek a full term. State Rep. Sydney Carlin, a Manhattan Democrat, is preparing petitions in advance of filing her candidacy for a possible sixth term. Republican Lee Modesitt, who challenged Carlin unsuccessfully in 2010, has already declared his intent to seek that seat again this year. Democrats are also expected to field a challenger to Phillips.
On the Senate side, Republicans Joe Knopp and Bob Reader have declared for the Manhattan-based 22nd District seat presently occupied by fellow Republican Roger Reitz. The incumbent has not yet made his re-election intentions clear, nor have any Democrats stepped forward to date. Beyond that, the situation in the 22nd District is complicated by the stalled nature of redistricting efforts in Topeka, where House members have rejected the map adopted by senators. At issue are the lines of several districts, including the 22nd. A House committee held hearings Friday on a Senate map that is expected to be considered by the full House next week.