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

Tracy Toulou...

Associated Press

How to tackle crime in Indian Country? Empower tribal justice, ex-Justice Department official says

A recently retired director of the Justice Dept. says the federal government hasn't given tribal justice systems equal recognition.

1 hour ago

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson...

Associated Press

House Speaker Mike Johnson says he will push for aid to Israel and Ukraine this week

House Speaker Mike Johnson said Sunday he will try to advance wartime aid for Israel this week, along with funding for Ukraine.

2 hours ago

President Joe Biden speaks at a campaign rally Saturday, March 9, 2024, at Pullman Yards in Atlanta...

Associated Press

US shoots down ‘nearly all’ Iran-launched attack drones as Biden vows support for Israel’s defense

Joe Biden cut short a weekend stay at his beach house to meet with his national security team as Iran launched an attack against Israel.

1 day ago

Protesters in Phoenix shout as they join thousands marching around the Arizona state Capitol after ...

Associated Press

Abortion ruling supercharges Arizona to be an especially important swing state

A ruling this week instituting a near-total abortion ban supercharged Arizona's role, turning it into the most critical battleground.

2 days ago

Former President Donald Trump, center, appears in court for his arraignment, Tuesday, April 4, 2023...

Associated Press

Manhattan court searching for jurors to hear first-ever criminal case against a former president

Jury selection is set to start Monday in former President Donald Trump's hush money case — the first trial of the presumptive nominee.

2 days ago

Emergency personnel arrive on the scene after a  an 18-wheeler crashed into the Texas Department of...

Associated Press

1 dead and 13 injured in semitrailer crash at a Texas public safety office, with the driver jailed

A driver rammed an 18-wheeler though the front of a building where his renewal for a commercial driver’s license had been rejected.

2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Avoid a potential emergency and get your home’s heating and furnace safety checked

With the weather getting colder throughout the Valley, the best time to make sure your heating is all up to date is now. 

2 Kansas state lawmakers who faced legal issues ousted