Precinct leaders in the 37th Senate District gathered April 21 at Spring Hill High School to decide who would fill Pat Apple’s former Senate seat, and they picked another Louisburg area resident to represent them in the state Legislature.
Molly Baumgardner was elected by precinct committee leaders in northern Miami and southern Johnson counties to fill the seat vacated by Apple through the end of the 2014 legislative session. Apple was recently appointed to the Kansas Corporation Commission.
Baumgardner was challenged by Charlotte O’Hara, who ran against Apple in the 2012 Republican primary election. There were 50 votes cast for Baumgardner and 35 for O’Hara.
“I’d first like to thank the precinct men and women,” Baumgardner said in a release. “For those to meet with me and share their concerns for the 37th District and the state took considerable time on their part. I will start reviewing the documents for the cleanup legislation session as soon as they’re made available to me.”
Baumgardner brings ample experience to her new role and has served in elected positions and behind the scenes on campaigns. She served on the Johnson County Community College Board of Trustees for 18 years and was awarded the Eagle Forum Award for conservative leadership by Phyllis Schafly during her time on the board, a release stated.
Baumgardner has “provided consulting services for political candidates on the local, state and national level,” a release said. She served as Miami County’s Brownback for Governor Chair in 2010.
“Though I’m not a career politician, I’m certainly not new to Republican efforts in our state and specifically in Miami and Johnson counties,” she said in a release.
Her career experience spans both counties she will serve in her new role. Baumgardner is the Journalism and Media Communications Coordinator for JCCC, where she also serves as a faculty adviser for the college’s radio and television stations.
She previously taught at Louisburg High School and is a member of two school district vocational technology advisory boards. Baumgardner also has professional experience in the education, healthcare and business fields, a release stated.
Baumgardner is married to Dr. Brian Baumgardner, a professor at JCCC. They have four children: Katie Jo, Paul, Gwendolyn and Amelia.
She is a member of Mount Olive Lutheran Church of Overland Park and has served leadership roles in organizations and conferences dealing with autism, pregnancy crisis, film, educational technology and journalism.
Baumgardner’s posit ion will be up for election in the Aug. 5 primary and Nov. 4 general election.
The 37th Senate District covers Louisburg, Paola, Spring Hill and other areas of northern Miami County, as well as southern Johnson County.