AP

2 Kansas state lawmakers who faced legal issues ousted

Aug 3, 2022, 12:13 PM | Updated: 1:28 pm

FILE - Kansas state Rep. Aaron Coleman, D-Kansas City, is seen at the Statehouse in Topeka, Kan., D...

FILE - Kansas state Rep. Aaron Coleman, D-Kansas City, is seen at the Statehouse in Topeka, Kan., Dec. 8, 2020. Two Kansas state lawmakers who have faced legal troubles since they were elected, including Coleman, lost their primary races, Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022. Coleman has been ensnared in controversy since running for election in 2020. He agreed in March to undergo mental health counseling and a domestic violence assessment to avoid prosecution on a misdemeanor domestic battery charge involving his brother. (AP Photo/John Hanna, File)

(AP Photo/John Hanna, File)

Two Kansas lawmakers who faced legal issues during their time in the Legislature have been soundly defeated in their bids for reelection.

Freshman Rep. Aaron Coleman, of Turner, lost a three-way race to Melissa Oropeza, of Kansas City, Kansas, in Tuesday’s Democratic primary. And Republican Rep. Mark Samsel, of Wellsville, who has served in the Legislature since 2019, was defeated by conservative Carrie Barth, of Baldwin City.

Coleman has been ensnared in controversy since running for election in 2020. He agreed in March to undergo mental health counseling and a domestic violence assessment to avoid prosecution on a misdemeanor domestic battery charge involving his brother.

Coleman had previously admitted to abuse of young women and girls before he was elected, including circulating revenge porn and slapping and choking an ex-girlfriend. Gov. Laura Kelly and other Democrats said Coleman should resign and the House issued a written reprimand. Coleman also faced two traffic charges after he was arrested in November.

Coleman received only 321 votes, or 13.1%, while Oropeza won with 1,203 votes, 49.2%, and Faith Rivera received 923 votes, or 37.7% of the vote.

In a statement posted on Twitter, Coleman congratulated Oropeza and thanked his supporters. “I hope this decision is the best for everyone,” he wrote. Coleman did not respond to messages Wednesday seeking further comment.

Samsel, an attorney, was placed on a year of probation after he pleaded guilty in September to three misdemeanor charges of battery after he was accused of angry interactions with two students, ages 15 or 16, while he was working as a substitute teacher at the high school in his hometown of Wellsville.

Barth received 2,769 votes, or 63.4%, to Samsel’s 1,599, or 36.6%. Samsel did not return a message Wednesday seeking comment.

Videos shot by students on April 28 and provided by a parent showed Samsel talking about suicide, God and sex in a noisy classroom. He was accused of kicking a boy in the testicles. Samsel said he only “demonstrated a kick” for one boy who had disrupted class but did not kick him, according to a deputy’s affidavit.

Samsel said in a Facebook post that he was under extreme stress at the time, which caused him to have “an isolated episode of mania with psychotic features” in a classroom. He said he was undergoing mental health treatment and surrendered his state substitute teacher’s license.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

deadly heat wave last summer...

Associated Press

After a deadly heat wave last summer, metro Phoenix is changing tactics

Fresh memories of the deadly heat wave last summer have led Arizona authorities to launch new tactics ahead of summer 2024.

2 days ago

A Yuma man has been arrested for allegedly starting a wildfire in a national wildlife preserve near...

Associated Press

Man accused of starting wildfire in national wildlife preserve in Yuma

A Yuma man has been arrested for allegedly starting a wildfire in a national wildlife preserve near the California border.

2 days ago

Colorado River settlement center of new Navajo Nation push...

Associated Press

Tribes say their future is at stake as they push for Congress to consider Colorado River settlement

Navajo officials are celebrating the signing of legislation outlining a proposed Colorado River settlement that would ensure water rights.

5 days ago

Arizona doctors California abortions...

Associated Press

Arizona doctors can come to California to perform abortions under new law signed by Gov. Newsom

Arizona doctors can temporarily come to California to perform abortions for their patients under a new law signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

6 days ago

Father convicted of first-degree murder in northern Arizona...

Associated Press

Arizona man convicted of first-degree murder in starvation death of 6-year-old son

A northern Arizona father was convicted of first-degree murder Thursday in the 2020 starvation death of his 6-year-old son.

6 days ago

Former President Donald Trump sits in a courtroom next to his lawyer Todd Blanche before the start ...

Associated Press

Trump hush money trial enters new phase after defense rests without testimony from former president

Donald Trump's hush money trial is now closer to the moment when the jury will begin deciding the former president's fate.

8 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Beat the heat, ensure your AC unit is summer-ready

With temperatures starting to rise across the Valley, now is a great time to be sure your AC unit is ready to withstand the sweltering summer heat.

...

COLLINS COMFORT MASTERS

Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

2 Kansas state lawmakers who faced legal issues ousted