Jean Schodorf

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Jean Schodorf
Member of the Kansas Senate
from the 25th district
In office
Succeeded by Michael O'Donnell
Personal details
Born (1950-06-11) June 11, 1950 (age 66)
Cherry Point, North Carolina
Political party Democratic (2013-present)
Other political
Republican (until 2013)
Residence Sedan, Kansas
Alma mater University of New Mexico
Profession speech pathologist

Jean Kurtis Schodorf (born June 11, 1950), a former three-term Republican state senator, was the Democratic Party nominee for Kansas Secretary of State in 2014.[1] She was defeated on November 4, 2014 by incumbent Kris Kobach in the general election for Secretary of State 59-41 percent.[2]

Early life[edit]

Schodorf was born to Wilma Mary Horton (1911–2002) and William A. Kuretich (Croatian: Kuretić), of Croatian origin (1914–2001), a U.S. Marine Corps brigadier general and decorated veteran of World War II. Her father’s military career included extensive travel for his family. Upon his retirement, the family settled in Independence, Kansas. She is the sister of attorney and television journalist Bill Kurtis.


Schodorf is a speech/language pathologist and graduated from University of New Mexico (Bachelor of Arts and Masters of Science) and Wichita State University (Ph.D. in Communicative Disorders, post-doctoral work in education administration).

Political career[edit]

From 1989 to 2000, she was on the Board of Education for Unified School District 259 (Wichita School District) and was the board president in 1993, 1997 and 1999.

She was a Republican member of the Kansas Senate, representing the 25th District in Wichita, from 2001 to 2013.

In 2010, Schodorf was a candidate for U.S Representative of the 4th district, being vacated by Todd Tiahrt. She finished third in the Republican primary to Mike Pompeo, who won the general election.

In the 2012 Republican Primary, Senator Schodorf, and Senate President Stephen Morris and six other state senate moderates were opposed by Governor Sam Brownback, the Kansas Chamber of Commerce and the Koch brothers.[3] At the time, Schodorf was the Majority Whip. She was defeated August 7, 2012, in her attempt to be re-elected to the Kansas State Senate by Wichita City Council member Michael O'Donnell, 59 percent to 41 percent. Of those targeted, only Senator Carolyn McGinn won re-election.[4][5] The primary victories gave incumbent Governor Sam Brownback the margin he needed to effectively restructure state taxation, exempting "S" status filers such as Koch Industries from income taxes.

In January 2013, Schodorf changed her party affiliation to Democrat.[6][7]

In May, 2016 Schodorf, by then a resident of Sedan, Kansas, announced she was running again for the Kansas legislature, this time as a State Representative for District 12 in Southeast, Kansas. [8] She lost the general election to Republican primary winner Doug Blex.

Committee assignments[edit]

Sen. Schodorf served on these legislative committees:[9]

  • Education (chair)
  • Joint Committee on Arts and Cultural Resources (vice-chair)
  • Commerce
  • Confirmation Oversight
  • Interstate Cooperation
  • Judiciary
  • Ways and Means


Legislation sponsored or co-sponsored by Sen. Schodorf includes:

  • A resolution opposing relocation of Guantanamo detainees to Kansas.[10]
  • A resolution regarding the right to bear arms[11]

Major donors[edit]

Some of the top contributors to Sen. Schodorf's 2008 campaign were, according to the National Institute on Money in State Politics[12] the Kansas Realtors Association, Kansas Contractors Association, Kansas Republican Senatorial Committee, Kansans for Lifesaving Cures and the Kansas National Education Association. Institutions were her major donor group.


2010 run for Congress[edit]

In 2010, Sen. Schodorf entered the primary race for the 4th Congressional District of Kansas, running against four other Republicans (Jim Anderson, Wink Hartman, Mike Pompeo and Paij Rutschman). She was endorsed by former U.S. Sen Nancy Kassebaum Baker on July 13, 2010.[13] Schodorf finished second in the Republican primary, losing to eventual general election winner Mike Pompeo.


In the 2012 Republican primary for her state senate seat, Sen. Schodorf was defeated by Michael O'Donnell of Wichita in the Republican Primary on Aug. 7, 2012, by a 2,785 to 1,949 margin. Schodorf, a moderate, had been targeted by conservatives Republicans for defeat.[14][15] O'Donnell went on to defeat Democratic nominee, the late Timothy L. Snow in the general election. [16][17]


In September 2013, Schodorf announced she was running for Secretary of State of Kansas, switching parties to run as a Democrat.[15] She was defeated by incumbent Republican Kris Kobach, who was running for re-election.


Running from rural Sedan, she lost the general election to Republican Doug Blex.60.9% to 30%.[18]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Secretary of State election results, Kansas Secretary of State, November 5, 2014.
  3. ^ Defeated Kansas Senator: "Koch Industries is just a terrible, terrible citizen", Slate Magazine, Dave Weigel, August 8, 2012. Retrieved 20 March 2016.
  4. ^ Kansas Secretary of State's Office, August 7, 2012.
  5. ^ Michael O'Donnell unseats Schodorf in race, KSN-TV Channel 3, August 7, 2012.
  6. ^ Jean Schodorf, Outgoing Kansas State Senator, Becomes A Democrat Huffington Post. January 14, 2013. Accessed July 30, 2013
  7. ^ Former Senate education committee chairwoman to change party affiliation, Topeka Capitol-Journal, January 13, 2013.
  8. ^ "Former Wichita Sen. Schodorf to run for House in rural Kansas district". Wichita Eagle. Retrieved 9 September 2016. 
  9. ^ Profile from the Kansas Senate
  10. ^ SR 1606
  11. ^ SR 1611
  12. ^ Jean Schodorf 2008 campaign contributions
  13. ^ "Kassebaum Baker endorses Schodorf for Congress", Wichita Eagle and, July 13, 2010.
  14. ^ AP (25 September 2013). "Ex-GOP Sen. Jean Schodorf seeks bid for Secretary of State as Democrat". The Topeka Capitol Journal. Retrieved 26 June 2014. 
  15. ^ a b Kraske, Steve (28 October 2013). "Look out, Kobach: Here comes Jean Schodorf". The Kansas City Star. Retrieved 26 June 2014. 
  16. ^ Kansas Secretary of State, "Candidates for the 2012 Primary (official)," retrieved March 11, 2013.
  17. ^ Kansas Secretary of State, Official 2012 Primary Results
  18. ^ 2016 General Election Official Results, Kansas Secretary of State, November 2016. Retrieved 29 January 2016.

External links[edit]