Harry McDonald, a retired biology teacher, announced Wednesday he will challenge John Bacon in the Aug. 1 Republican primary, making him the second conservative to face GOP opposition. Both are from Olathe.
McDonald has become visible as president of Kansas Citizens for Science, which wants public school science standards to continue treating the theory of evolution as long-established science, crucial for students to learn.
He said he’s notified other Kansas Citizens for Science leaders that he’s giving up the group’s presidency.
“The evolution debate is just a symptom of what’s wrong with the State Board of Education,” McDonald said during an interview. “My campaign is going to revolve around larger issues.”
McDonald plans to kick off his campaign at 9 a.m. Tuesday outside the Johnson County election commissioner’s office in Olathe. He is a 57-year-old who retired last year after 32 years teaching science, most of them at Blue Valley High School.
While Connie Morris makes an easy target, I think that some of the other members, like Mr. Bacon, are better targets for this election. McDonald has an incredible shot at this seat.
For all it’s conservatism, Johnson County doesn’t want to elect Connie Morris, and doesn’t want her running the show. Her brand of conservatism is different from JoCo conservatism. Creationists did poorly in school board races there in the spring. Bacon has been relatively quiet, though he did propose some creationist changes.
In addition, almost half of his last campaign was funded by “Free Academic Inquiry and Research” and its federal PAC (do the search here). FAIRPAC is a shadow group for the Kansas Republican Assembly, the ultra-conservative, religious authoritarian party apparatus which RSR and I discussed a while back.
He’s too conservative for this district, and will be punished not only for his own extremism, but for that of his allies.
I haven’t yet endorsed either of Connie Morris’s challengers because I don’t know enough about either.
I do know Mr. McDonald and it would take something earth-shattering for anyone else to get my endorsement.
FYI, the district in question covers most of Miami, Linn and Johnson counties, most of Franklin Co. and some of Anderson Co.