This is Rep. Gail Finney’s sixth election for the Kansas House, and each time she has rented space on a prominent billboard at 13th and Hillside, in the heart of the 84th District.
Whether she’s needed the billboard or not.
See, she doesn’t have an opponent in Tuesday’s Democratic primary. And once she wins that, she doesn’t have an opponent in November’s general election, either.
So does the billboard act as insurance in case of a write-in uprising? Well, no.
“Even though I don’t have an opponent, I’m still going door to door, meeting people,” Finney said. “I believe in keeping my name out there. I don’t want them to think their legislator isn’t working for them.”
Finney said she reserves the billboard far in advance — she won’t say how far so as to give away a campaign secret — and this year it was before the June 1 filing deadline for opponents to challenge her.
Whether or not she needs votes, Finney said the billboard encourages constituents to vote. The Democratic primary includes a hotly contested governor’s race for the first time since 1998.
After Tuesday’s primary, Finney plans to distribute yard signs for her campaign against no one. Signs aren’t out before the primary because she didn’t want them confused with the contested 89th District Democratic primary to the north of the 84th.
Finney says she plans to reserve the billboard again in 2020. After all, she’s 5 for 5 — and about to be 6 for 6.