Molly Baumgardner

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Molly Baumgardner
Member of the Kansas Senate
from the 37th district
Assumed office
Preceded byPat Apple
Personal details
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Dr. Brian Baumgardner
ResidenceLouisburg, Kansas
OccupationCollege professor

Molly Baumgardner is a Republican member of the Kansas Senate, representing District 37 since April 2014. She lives in Louisburg, Kansas.

She is an adjunct professor at Johnson County Community College in Overland Park.[1]

She served 18 years as a countywide elected member of the Johnson County Community College board of trustees.



Baumgardner defeated Charlotte O'Hara in the August 7, 2014 Republican primary and was unopposed in the 2014 general election on November 4.[2][3][4]

The Senate District 37 seat had been held by Pat Apple from 2013 to 2014. Apple resigned in April 2014 to join the Kansas Corporation Commission, a state agency. Apple was nominated by Gov. Sam Brownback on March 2014 for the post, and confirmed by a Senate vote on April 2014.[5]


On January 11, 2019, Governor Laura Kelly announced that she would appoint David Toland as Kansas Secretary of Commerce following her inauguration. Anti-abortion activists attempted to prevent Toland's confirmation due to what they perceived as ties to George Tiller, an assassinated abortion provider from Wichita, Kansas who was killed while ushering in his church in 2009 by anti-abortion extremist Scott Roeder. Supporters of Toland noted that the only tie between the two was a small grant that Thrive Allen County obtained from a memorial fund posthumously established in Tiller's name and that Toland's position as Secretary of Commerce would have nothing to do with healthcare services or abortion.[6] The grants in question had been made to assist pregnant women to stop smoking and to provide contraceptive services to low-income women intending to postpone or avoid becoming pregnant. In a hearing by the Commerce Committee held on March 20-21, 2019, Toland expansively answered probing questions from Baumgardner and anti-abortion Senator Mary Pilcher-Cook about Toland's neighborhood improvement activities in the District of Columbia prior to his return to Kansas. The committee rejected his appointment by a vote of 6-5, sending the nomination to the full senate.[7] Despite personal attacks leveled by conservatives, Toland was confirmed to the position by the Kansas Senate on April 1, 2019, by a vote of 23-14. He received support from all 11 Democratic senators, 11 Republicans, and the Senate's lone independent. Toland had survived an effort by the Kansas Republican Party, Kansans for Life, the Koch Industries-funded Americans for Prosperity and others, to derail his nomination.[8][9] After she became chair of the Senate Commerce Committee in 2013, Republican Senator Julia Lynn handled the vetting of Antonio Soave, Commerce Secretary to Republican Governors Sam Brownback and then Jeff Colyer. Soave oversaw the outsourcing of considerable work which had previously been done by state employees, to contractors. After Governor Laura Kelly took office, Lynn tried to squelch audits of those contracts, which reviews have been initiated by Toland. Some work had gone to Allied Global Services (AGS) and Lynn was working for a division of AGS, Inclusion Works. She denied having any conflict of interest in that relationship, a position with which both Republican and Democratic legislators disagreed. Upon audits, considerable problems were found with the contractors.[10].


  1. ^ Baumgardner's Kansas Senate page
  2. ^ Kansas Secretary of State, "Candidates for the 2014 Primary (official)," retrieved October 28, 2015.
  3. ^ Kansas Secretary of State, Official 2014 Primary Results, Kansas Secretary of State. Retrieved November 3, 2019.
  4. ^ "Kansas Secretary of State, "2014 Kansas General Election Results,"" (PDF). Retrieved 2019-11-03.
  5. ^ New KCC commissioner: Only agenda is to serve Kansas, Capital Journal, April 11, 2014. Retrieved November 3, 2019.
  6. ^ "Local Spat And Party Politics Threaten Kansas Governor's Pick To Head Commerce". Retrieved March 11, 2019.
  7. ^ Panel rejects Toland nomination, Iola Register, Richard Luken, March 21, 2019. Retrieved November 3, 2019.
  8. ^ "David Toland confirmation hearing before Kansas Senate panel devolves into bitterness". March 21, 2019. Retrieved November 3, 2019.
  9. ^ Kansas Senate approves controversial nominee to lead Commerce Department, Capital Journal, April 1, 2019. Retrieved November 3, 2019.
  10. ^ Conflict-of-interest questions swirl around Kansas GOP senator, Kiowa County Signal, Tim Carpenter, November 2, 2019. Retrieved November 3, 2019.

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